Danish Athletic Club trying to make a go of it

Contrary to swirling rumors, the Danish Athletic Club is notclosing.

We are struggling, but we are staying open, said manager ReidunThompson. We want to stay open until the summer; then we will havea better idea of what’s going on.

Thompson said that the club’s location is hurting membership: it’stucked away between auto body shops and garages. Plus, the newChinese restaurant across the street eats up the few parking spots.We are too far away, she explained.

Angie Ryan has been going to the beloved club for years and saidshe would hate to see it shut down. It’s a very special place.When you walk in there, it’s like time stopped in the fifties, shesaid. I think that’s the last time it was renovated.

The cozy club, which celebrates its 120th anniversary this year,serves home-style dinners of pot roast, ham and mashed potatoesWednesdays through Sundays and hosts events such as Santa Lucia Dayand the Syttende Mai parade. The NYPD Viking Association meetsthere once a month.

There are many, many people who have been going to the Danish Clubfor years who would love to see it stay open and are willing tohelp as much as they can, said Victoria Hofmo, president of theEast Coast Scandinavian Museum. We are committed to keep it open.It’s our past, present and future.

The museum is having its annual Fastelavn celebration or DanishMardi Gras at the club on February 26. To prepare for the return ofspring, partygoers will decorate branches and participate in otherScandinavian traditions.

The club is also a great place to make friends, said those whofrequent it. At the Santa Lucia event six years ago, Ryan met twowomen from Manhattan. We don’t see or talk to each other the wholeyear, yet every year, we meet at the same table, she said. We areon the floor hysterically laughing at all the bits and pieces thatgo on. It’s such a consistent experience and so much fun.

It’s not only a neighborhood treasure, it’s an American treasure,she added.

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