Target Criticized for CBGB Re-Creation in New York Store

Last week, Target opened up a new store in New York’s East Village. That’s the sort of news that would normally fly under the radar of a website devoted to rock news, but in this case it’s different. As part of their storefront, in an attempt to re-create the way the East Village looked in the late ’70s, the retailer has co-opted the look of the neighborhood’s famed rock club CBGB.

Over at Brooklyn Vegan, they’ve got pictures of the storefront, which includes an awning with “TRGT” in a close approximation of the CBGB font, and the word “BANDS” below it, where “OFMUG” was. Underneath the awning was a stand where they were giving out boxes of Band-Aids and exercise bands with Target’s logo. Inside, behind the cashiers, is a mural celebrating the East Village, complete with street signs, musical instruments, a slice of pizza and a hot dog.

As found by Yahoo, author Jeremiah Moss, whose new book Vanishing New York chronicles the gentrification of New York at the expense of its artistic past, took Target to task. “To see the artifacts of my own life,” he wrote on his blog, “my cultural and spiritual awakening, my home, displayed above the cash registers in a Target store is to be cast into a state of confusion and dystopic dysphoria. What am I seeing? Who are these people? What happened to the world?”

CBGB opened up at 315 Bowery, about a mile away from the Target’s location on 14th Street and Avenue A, in 1973 and quickly became a focal point for the downtown music scene that produced the Ramones, Talking Heads, Patti Smith and Television. It closed on Oct. 15, 2006 amid a fight with the landlord, with the awning sent to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Fashion designer John Varvatos opened up a store in the location in 2008, and a restaurant bearing the CBGB name opened up in Newark Airport in 2015.

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