1 Oak has been shuttered since the start of the pandemic and now might be done for good, at least at 453 West 17th Street. As the New York Post reported, the hot spot where celebrities like Rihanna seemed to genuinely love to party — and Lindsay Lohan has both been accused of and accused someone else of stealing a fur coat — was evicted by a city marshal last Thursday.
Throughout the pandemic, club owner Richie Akiva has insisted that 1 Oak would eventually reopen. (The club has hosted a few events in the past two years, including a VMAs after-party in 2021.) But COVID-19 wasn’t the start of 1 Oak’s troubles: By 2014, former co-owner Scott Sartiano sold his shares and later sued Akiva for $15 million, claiming he had underpaid him in the buyout deal. (Sartiano now runs Eric Adams’s favorite club.) A former general manager of 1 Oak also filed a lawsuit in 2019, claiming wrongful termination after he asked management to ban a promoter who called him the N-word and alleging that the club required higher spending minimums for Black and Hispanic customers. At present, Akiva owes nearly $1.8 million in back rent, a sum he says he can’t pay because of another business dispute, this time with corporate partner Katz Group, a private real-estate developer.
Despite Akiva owing millions in rent, the eviction apparently came as a surprise: “We were completely unaware,” a representative for Akiva told the Post. Akiva’s group said that it had been trying to “find a solution” with the landlord N.E.W. Corp. The landlord’s attorney seems to believe he has found it: “They’ve been properly evicted.”