CNN anchor Anderson Cooper‘s long-time boyfriend Antoine “Benjamin” Maisani is opening a fourth New York City gay bar, this time in Williamsburg, Commercial Observer has learned.
Mr. Maisani, business partner Pablo Raimondi, and Chris Canon are partnering to open the new bar and restaurant at 617 Grand Street near Leonard Street, apparently to cater to the Williamsburg clientele. They took over the space occupied by Ooba restaurant, lounge and bar and the location is currently under construction.
Sources said the lease was for 10 years and the asking rent was approximately $6,500 for about 2,000 square feet on the ground floor and 2,000 feet on the lower level.
Eastern Consolidated‘s James Famularo, who represented Mr. Maisani in the deal, declined to comment. Broker Maria Fernandez of NYCRS represented Ooba. She said the husband-and-wife duo that was operating Ooba grew tired of the nightclub business after about six years.
“It’s going to be a nice gay bar,” Ms. Fernandez said. “It’s going to be great for the neighborhood.”
Local Community Board 1 approved that the Ooba liquor license be transferred to Mr. Maisani and partners at the end of March and a month later the lease deal closed.
Mr. Famularo also represented Mr. Maisini in the Atlas Social Club deal about a year ago at 753 Ninth Avenue in Hell’s Kitchen, when he was a broker at NYCRS, as Commercial Observer previously reported.
None of the partners immediately responded to requests for comment.