Can we all just let CBGB & OMFUG rest in peace already? In 2006 when the godmother of punk, Patti Smith, played the final show at the storied East Village venue it was a sad, but fitting goodbye to the club that had been home to so many influential bands in the ‘70s and ‘80s. Since then CBGB’s good name has been plastered onto t-shirts sold at Hot Topic, a toothless movie and now, the latest affront to all that is rock and roll, as CBGB L.A.B (Lounge & Bar) at Newark Liberty International Airport.
Harold Moore, executive chef and owner of Commerce—an upscale West Village eatery with no graffiti allowed on its walls—is heading the venture. Which is great news, because nothing says the birthplace of the Ramones and Television quite like $9 disco fries (yes, that’s an actual menu item and no, Moore probably doesn't know the difference between punk and disco). The over-priced American food served here will be some international tourists only knowledge of the club that championed New York's early punk rock scene, which seems fitting as NYC completes its transition into a giant city-themed family amusement park. There’s not much information out there on what sort of classic CBGB touches will be a part of this tourist travesty, but if it’s anything like the old spot guests hoping to use the bathrooms would be far better off using the airport's public stalls, a statement Newark Airport never thought it’d hear.