The Hells Angels have been happily ensconced in their clubhouse on East 3rd Street in the East Village since around the time Abbey Road was released and the Mets were world champions. But after almost 50 years there, that is all about to change, because the group has apparently sold the clubhouse and are moving out come springtime.

EV Grieve reported today that public documents note a Memorandum of Contract—a form that precedes a sale—from December 21st between Church of the Angels, Inc. and a corporation listed as 77 East 3rd Street LLC. That doc was signed by Bartley J. Dowling, president of the NYC Hells Angels chapter, and the purchaser, Nathan Blatter of Whitestone Realty Group.

We reached out to the Hells Angels for comment, and also stopped by the clubhouse today—no one answered the door when we knocked.

Although the Hells Angels have been associated with the space since the late '60s, they purchased the six-floor building, which includes their clubhouse and member residences, in 1977 (reportedly for just $1,900). The street has been called "the safest block in New York" because of their continued presence there, although there have been legal battles over the space as recently as 2013. Curbed wrote:

In 1983, then-president Sandy Alexander changed the building's deed to name himself and his family as rent-free tenants, and stipulate that his heirs "shall receive half of the proceeds" from the sale of the building. Then he went to jail for selling cocaine, got kicked out of the club in the '90s, and died in 2007. Now the Hells Angels are preemptively suing his second wife and daughter from another marriage to prevent them from trying to take over the building

They add that according to public records, the deed was transferred from one of Alexander’s heirs to the Angels in 2018, paving the way for a sale.

Despite their overall positive relationship with the neighborhood, their time there hasn't been without its bumps in the road, particularly around the issue of their precious bench: they put up a tourist-repelling beam there in 2011 to keep people from sitting on it. They got some pushback for that, and ended up removing it. Things reached a crisis in 2016 when someone actually stole their beloved bench! As you can see up above, they ended up buying and installing a new wooden bench there.

Check out some old-timey footage of the Hells Angels on East 3rd Street in the video below: