NYC café temporarily closing for $24 million renovation project

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Wednesday, November 1, 2023
Iconic NYC café says 'see you later' before closing for renovations
The Nuyorican Poets Café just celebrated its 50-year anniversary and is looking forward to another 50 years, while closing for renovations.

LOWER EAST SIDE, Manhattan (WABC) -- The iconic Nuyorican Poets Café had their final party, celebrating its 50-year anniversary on Halloween, before closing for renovations.

The milestone was celebrated with a haunted house and costume ball with several DJs, open mic night, open bar, treats, a photo booth and a champagne toast at midnight.

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The doors of the Lower East Side café will close on Wednesday for the "Nuyoricanstruction" phase, which is a $24 million renovation project that will take about three years.

"So the bricks will remain but everything else will be gutted where we'll have five floors at the end of it with two theaters, an elevator, a garden, a flex space, an archive room, a screening room, a classroom," said Caridad De La Cruz, the café's executive director. "It's going to be fantastic."

Although the space will be closed for the time being, they will continue hosting events including poetry slams and open mics at other locations across New York City.

The café's first off-site free open mic will be held at the Village Works Bookstore on November 11.

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