Save the Robots

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Save the Robots was an underground after hours club in New York City's East Village neighborhood. "Robots," as the venue was popularly known, operated illegally from a nondescript storefront and basement at 25 Avenue B, between East 2nd and 3rd Streets, from 1983 until mid-1984, when the club was shut down for fire safety violations. After undergoing safety-related renovations and obtaining a social club license, the venue reopened in early January 1986.[citation needed]

The club was frequented by drag performers, musicians, Club Kids, employees of other bars and clubs, skinheads and other denizens of downtown New York nightlife, including Dean Johnson and Lady Bunny.[1] Save the Robots was known for its late hours of operation and sold only vodka, soda and fruit juice. Patrons typically arrived after 4 a.m. and partied until the 8 a.m. closing time, often with the aid of recreational drugs. At one point, talk show host Craig Ferguson worked there as a bouncer.[2][3][4]

1993 was the last year of 'Robots'. The space was subsequently leased to other operators, who transformed it into a fully licensed dance club, to capitalize on the "Save the Robots" name, without consent from the original owners and with few vestiges of the original clientele or atmosphere.[5]

At a later time, the venue was bought by another owner and renamed Guernica. It was closed again in 2013 after the club's bouncer, Dana Blake, was stabbed in an incident with some smokers outside the club.[6][7]

Reopened in April 2019 as Downtime.


  1. ^ Cooper, Michael (1996-02-18). "Club Is Still Late, But Now Legal". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-09-23.
  2. ^ Ferguson, Craig (2009), American on Purpose: The Improbable Adventures of an Unlikely Patriot, New York, N.Y.: HarperCollins, pp. 112–113, ISBN 0061998494
  3. ^ "Episode dated 15 April 2013". The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson. 15 April 2013. CBS.
  4. ^ "Episode dated 5 September 2013". The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson. 5 September 2013. CBS.
  5. ^ "The Graying of Save the Robots". The New York Times. 1996-02-18. Retrieved 2010-09-23.
  6. ^ Vitullo-Martin, Julia. "A Look At Nightclub Mayhem". Gotham Gazette. Retrieved 2019-01-02.
  7. ^ Dewan, Shaila K. (2003-04-14). "Bouncer Dies; Family Blames Smoking Ban". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-01-02.