UPDATE: Don’t Make Plans For High Tea At Fire Island Pines Pavilion Just Yet

This week, our big sister in sordidness, Michael Musto, ran an update on the situation on Fire Island, gay New York’s summer getaway, where the harbor area in the Pines is still recovering from a devastating fire in November.

Maybe it was the avalanche of press that greeted my running that info, but a friend on the Island now tells me that yesterday all sorts of workers were busy trying to start the Pavilion up again.

They were in heavy-duty, hopeful, productive, constructive mode.

Oh, goodie. That’ll make it so much more appealing to prospective buyers.

Fire Island Properties co-owner Andrew Kirtzman said he had no comment about the construction on the Pavilion or a possible sale. But Mark at Large, the blogger who broke the story about the Pavilion’s perilous future says Musto got it wrong:

Don’t get your hopes up boys; our favorite blogger at The Village Voice may have been given some bad intel  about New York’s famed gay resort, Fire Island. Photos taken in February 2012 and one taken as late as March 16 show the spot where the once famed Pavilion nightclub stood remains a plot of sand with no construction activity under way.

The work being done is to the adjacent structure, the La Fontaine Building, that was also destroyed in a fire last November, not the Pavilion as reported elsewhere. The La Fontaine building houses the island’s only other nightclub, Sip N Twirl. The La Fontaine owners have been diligent about posting the progress of their structure, including photos, a web cam and a sketch of the final building. This is in stark contrast to FIP Ventures that have released little to no information about the rebuilding of the Pavilion.

All we really know is the architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro (DS+R) and the architectural firm HWKN were hired to design a “new entertainment complex” and building permits were obtained. According to the New York Times, FIP Ventures plan to put up a temporary structure for 2012 and a permanent structure in 2013.

Judging by the photos we’ve seen, you have to wonder if Fire Island Properties will even get their temporary structure up in time. You can’t exactly stake tentpoles in the sand.

And, as Mark at Large points out, any events in a makeshift club would have to wrap up by early evening or face the wrath of irate neighbors.

So far, the winners in this situation are Sip + Twirl, which will be the only full club operating in the Pines for summer 2012, and Cherry Grove, the Pines’ neighbor across the Meat Rack. Though the Grove generally skews older and has a stronger straight and lesbian presence, we imagine Pines gaybies will be flocking there by the ferryload to get their Fire Island freak on, at least for an evening.

Photos: Mark at Large


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  • Josh S

    Dan – you may want to just join the FIP facebook page to get accurate info. Seems they are busy getting ready with a late April opening.

  • Jon

    First of all, the spelling of LaFountaine is LaFountaine, not the way you have been spelling it. Second of all, as a full time resident and business owner in Fire Island Pines, you have your facts incorrect. Pines Ventures not only owns the site of the Pavilion, but also all the commercial property from where the Pavilion was to and not including the Pines Pantry. So that includes the Canteen Restaurant, a number of commercial stores, the Hotel Ciel and the Blue Whale Restaurant as well as the Pool area. In Mid April they will begin tea dance at the Blue Whale where it has been for the past 45 years. Middle tea will be around the Pool area this Season and high tea will be around the Blue Whale and the Hotel Ciel if a temporary space is not built this season on the Pavilion site. So there will be Low Tea, Middle (pool) Tea and High Tea. Every venue will be open and there will be plenty of options for people to go this Season, including restaurants and bars. If you think that the people in Fire Island Pines are not gearing up for a spectacular season, then you are not aware of the pulse and energy and most of all, the committment of all of us in Fire Island Pines. Remember, we got through the eighties and WE’RE STILL HERE! No fire, no hurricane, no epidemic is going to curtail the positive attitude of everyone here in the Pines. The homeowners, renters and guests in Fire Island Pines are the most resourceful and creative people in the world. No blog gets it!

  • Xavier

    Thank you Jon. Qeditors – please do your research.

    Its Mid-march. there is nothing to worry about. The owner’s of these properties always communicate their plans and they told us they will building a temporary bar/entertainment complex on the site (as reported in THE NEW YORK TIMES!)

    Pines Party and Ascension are bars/clubs on the beach that get built in 5 days. Its mid-march for christ sake. when it’s May 15th, you can worry but for now, this is a non-story.

  • Jg

    Queerty is just tryin to drive prices down so they can afford a quarter share.

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