Report: Funds Secured For Major Upgrades At Nuyorican Poets Cafe

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The city has secured funds for repairs and upgrades to the popular Nuyorican Poets Café in the East Village, after it suffered major damage as a result of Superstorm Sandy last year, according to a published report.

At a Manhattan Community Board 3 meeting earlier this week, City Councilwoman Rosie Mendez (D-2nd) announced that $5.3 million in funding had been secured for repairs to the venue and non-profit organization at 236 E. 3rd St., according to The Villager newspaper.

The grant will help the venue fix its unused upper floors above the performance space and its basement, as well as become compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, Mendez was quoted in the newspaper.

Plans had been underway since 2008 to renovate parts of the venue, the paper reported. After the café sustained damage as a result of Hurricane Irene in 2011 and Superstorm Sandy last year, a gut renovation was required for the basement and part of the performance space, the paper reported.

On its Facebook page this week, the café said, “We are so grateful for your support throughout the years and are excited about this ‘new chapter!!’”

The Nuyorican Poets Café began around 1973 as a living room salon for poets, in the apartment of East Village writer Miguel Alagrin. The café moved rented an Irish bar on East 6th Street beginning in 1975, and moved to its current location in 1980.

The café hosts weekly poetry slams, a theatre program, a Latin jazz jam session, hip-hop nights, and screenplay readings, among other events.

Upgrades to the 3rd Street building are expected to begin in the next two to three years, according to the newspaper.

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