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Posted at 3:08 PM ET, 05/17/2005

In Cleveland Park, Two Become One?


Cleveland Park is abuzz with news about the fate of the shuttered Park Bench Pub and Bricks Tavern after Atomic Billiards notified the local Advisory Neighborhood Commission that the pool hall plans to expand into the neighboring Park Bench Pub.

However, calling the expansion a done deal "is a little premature," says Curt Large of Bedrock Management, Atomic's parent company. "We're interested, and we've got a letter of intent [from the owner], but nothing's been finalized. We're still seeking approval for a liquor license from the [Alcohol Beverage Control Board], and if we don't get that, we can't go ahead."

Until a decade ago, the Atomic Billards and Park Bench spaces were one large subterranean club, known as the Far Inn and then Club Soda. As soon as the combined liquor license is approved and the paperwork is signed, rejoining the two establishments should be as simple as adding a new doorway and fixing up the Park Bench interior, Large says. "I'd like to hope we can have the spaces combined by August."

The expansion would add more pool tables and would primarily be used for private parties and "overflow space on busy nights," according to a letter of request drafted by Atomic President Mark Handwerger and submitted to the ANC.

As for Bricks, a sports bar with a popular rooftop deck, Large says, "we're interested, but it's a competitive process."

Cygs LLC, the owners of the Park Bench Pub, and Yi Restaurant LLC, the owners of Bricks, filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy earlier this year.

-- Fritz

By  | May 17, 2005; 3:08 PM ET
Categories:  Bars and Clubs  
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So, if the subterranean spaces of Park Bench and Atomic join, what happens to the street level area of the Park Bench with its entrance on Ordway Street? That little street side shack is the best part of the Park Bench!

Posted by: Julie | May 18, 2005 9:49 AM | Report abuse

If (again, nothing's decided) Atomic takes over Park Bench, they're "exploring options" for the Ordway section, including subletting it for retail or keeping it as part of the bar.

Posted by: Fritz | May 18, 2005 10:32 AM | Report abuse

The street-level area of Park Bench is becoming a florist.

Posted by: Penny Lane | May 18, 2005 1:43 PM | Report abuse

If atomic takes over Park Bench Pub, I think they should have more seating available so that people can hang out and have a few drinks who dont want to play pool. It would also be nice if they kept the dance floor for late night dancing in Cleveland Park.

Posted by: Missing the Park Bench | May 18, 2005 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Did either of those owners also own Yanyu? .. there seems to be a rash of closures on that block recently.

I heard through the grapevine that an Italian restaurant is going to replace Yanyu. Any merit to that?

Posted by: Justin | May 19, 2005 9:44 PM | Report abuse

Different owners, but the building is owned by the same person and he increased the lease amount alot.

The grapevine is right, i will be another italian restaurant

Posted by: Missing the Park Bench | May 20, 2005 1:18 PM | Report abuse

The owners of the former Yanyu also own Spices down the block. They bought the building that was McDonald's, but they don't plan to open a restaurant of their own there -- they would rather lease out the space for an obscene amount of money. There are, so far, no takers.

Posted by: Penny Lane | May 23, 2005 3:07 PM | Report abuse

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