Swelter

The forces of light and evil really mixing it up lately at the once great Espresso Bongo, set to maybe reopen as Pasta Bongo, another just-remodeling-but-furniture-somehow-mysteriously-vanishing-new-place-opening-any-day-now end of an era story. Money partner Frank Martinez not talking, but Dennis Britt, artistic guy and former sweat-equity partner, not pleased: "Can you believe how fast it died? These French guys came in with a line of bullshit about how they were going to make the club the new Mezzanotte. They painted the walls puke green, brought in these bogus French Gipsy Kings, and wanted to do all this tacky, kitschy, Seventies stuff - like a voodoo night with real chickens, and some kind of cherchez la femme `Where the models are' party. And they mistreated people. The Beach is real small, and if you don't treat people right, it's over quick. There was like this revolutionary cell of poets meeting outside the place, painting signs on the windows: `Poets Revolt,' `Money Hungry Euro-Trash,' `Get the French Out.' I don't know, man, the way we do business in this country is ridiculous. I'm into the new American revolution, but I tell you, it's like my favorite line in Roots. You know, when this guy tells one of the young slaves, `Things are different here. This is America, Toby.'

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