Players temporarily closes bar due to permit issue

The Players on Gramercy Park South (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

The Players on Gramercy Park South (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Sabina Mollot

The Players club, which reopened with a skimmed down skeleton crew in September after its usual summer hiatus, unexpectedly faced another roadblock to financial recovery last week.

The club had apparently neglected to renew a permit to serve food, and it expired on July 1. The permit was tied into its ability to keep its bar open. As a result, from Thursday to Monday, there was no bar service. The club, since September, hasn’t been serving food except during events.

By Tuesday morning, however, club president Arthur Makar said the permit issue had been resolved and members were being notified that the bar would reopen in the evening.

“With all of the turnover at the staff level, the expiration date was missed,” Makar explained to Town & Village. “It shouldn’t have happened but it did.”

The general manager of the club at that time was let go in September, and a couple of employees were also fired at that time, including someone who’d been hired to book events.

The club is, however, scheduled to hold an event on Tuesday night.

There’s currently still no general manager at The Players though there is now an operations manager.

A club member, who asked to remain anonymous, told T&V he was glad to see that “there’s a happy ending” to the permit lapse, but was still concerned that it happened.

“For the bar to be closed Friday, Saturday and Sunday, it’s just another kick in the pants,” he said. “It gives the impression that things are falling apart. It’s another blot The Players doesn’t need at this time.”

In September, Makar said the club was hoping to bring back regular food service, having recently upped its health department score from a C to an A. However, the club was, and is still, in the midst of digging its way out of a $3.5 million financial hole.

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