Name Change in Store for Landmark Nightclub
By IAN FEIN
The Hot Tin Roof nightclub will reopen under another name this spring, after the sale of the 1979 landmark Vineyard nightclub is finalized.
West Tisbury resident Barry Rosenthal, who is slated to purchase the club with his brother Arthur of Boston, confirmed last night that the name will be changed, and the agreed upon purchase price of $910,000 will drop as a result. Mr. Rosenthal said he and his brother have not yet decided on a new name, and would not reveal the renegotiated price until the deal is closed sometime in the next few weeks.
In a letter written yesterday to the Martha's Vineyard Airport Commission, which owns the land under the building, attorney Howard Miller, who represents the Rosenthals, said the original sale agreement had been changed because "Carly Simon would not give her approval without [Mr. Rosenthal] relinquishing rights to the name which she maintains is hers."
Ms. Simon, a Vineyard Haven resident, is an original founder of the club and one of the current owners. Ms. Simon could not be reached for comment last night.
Signed in August last year, the original sale agreement called for the Rosenthals, acting through the company BAR LLC, to pay $910,000 for the nightclub business, building and all the fixtures. The Roof is currently owned by HTRR Inc., a Delaware, Md., corporation that includes Ms. Simon and is headed by West Tisbury resident Herbert Putnam 3rd.
Mr. Putnam, Ms. Simon and West Tisbury resident George Brush established the Roof as the Island's first nightclub in 1979. The Roof changed hands only a few years after it first opened, but in 1995 Ms. Simon and Mr. Putnam joined with other investors to buy back the business.
Mr. Putnam did not return a call for comment last night.
The Edgartown board of selectmen on Oct. 17 approved a transfer of the nightclub's liquor license from the current owners to the Rosenthals; the real estate deal was originally set to close on Nov. 17 but stalled largely because of the name dispute. Mr. Rosenthal said last night he expects the new deal to close before Feb. 15, and plans to reopen the nightclub April 1.
Mr. Rosenthal, who is perhaps best known on the Island for his role in promoting and organizing the Vineyard Vibes concert, said last night that - aside from a new name - his plans to run the nightclub as a community-oriented place remain unchanged.