Punk Food For Travelers

Some out-of-town news for Saratoga foodies and travelers this day. CBGB’s. An iconic New York City club that gave much of the world its best music, art and culture during the past 40 years will be re-opening as a restaurant in an airport in New Jersey. File this one under: Ewwww.

It’s difficult deciding which is worse: filching the corpse of a former legend for pennies on the dollar, or naming an eatery after a place where the rancor of humid discharge oozed from the Bowery sidewalk outside, even as the notorious restrooms inside were unfit  for a serial killer.

“CBGB’s was a dump. No doors on the toilets, and the dog that lived there s*** all over the place,” recalled Marky Ramone, during a visit to Saratoga Springs last year. The small club on the Bowery gave rise to bands like Blondie and The Ramones, Patti Smith, Television, and the Talking Heads. “The only good thing about CB’s was the sound system. It was excellent and that’s why a lot of bands wanted to play there. You could sit and watch all these groups that were eventually changing music, like Blondie. It was our home,” Marky said - “but - I always made sure I knew where the exit was.”

Fast forward to December 2015. It is 42 years – nearly to the day – that CBGB’s opened, and more than nine years (nine years!) since the club closed – fittingly with a final performance of Patti Smith performing Elegie - a melancholic tune about the passing of people and time.

The space the club occupied now houses a pricey boutique and the neighboring flophouses have been replaced by multi-million dollar condominiums. The company that bought the CBGB name and intellectual property rights in 2008 filed for bankruptcy two years later. A company appointed to administer licensing around the CBGB brand in 2014 has thus far returned a film - CBGB the Movie – which was a stinker of a product which the Village Voice called a mostly turgid, boring-as-hell, campy slog.

Assuming the CBGB Lounge and Bar restaurant isn’t some kind of April Fool’s Day joke in December, a turkey club at the restaurant in New Jersey's Newark Liberty International Airport will cost you twelve-fifty, and the salmon will set you back nearly twenty bucks.

What’s the lesson in all this? When you die, make sure you take everything with you when you leave.