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After all the sad goings on at the former Mare Chiaro and Marion's on the Bowery, maybe we should have an ongoing thread for threatened NYC bars.

 

Latest warning signs come from the wonderfully named John's Recovery Room, right across the street from Harlem Hospital. It's currently closed down, and although a sign in the window suggests it will re-open as a bar (no change of use), I guess we can say goodbye to the blood-red paint, the soul brother pictures, the chipped old bar, and the general comfortably lived-in feel.

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After all the sad goings on at the former Mare Chiaro and Marion's on the Bowery, maybe we should have an ongoing thread for threatened NYC bars.   Latest warning signs come from the wonderfully nam

i had just pm'ed him that you'd be coming after him. i see it didnt take long.

Time Out has it under their Just Opened heading.

After all the sad goings on at the former Mare Chiaro and Marion's on the Bowery, maybe we should have an ongoing thread for threatened NYC bars.

 

Latest warning signs come from the wonderfully named John's Recovery Room, right across the street from Harlem Hospital. It's currently closed down, and although a sign in the window suggests it will re-open as a bar (no change of use), I guess we can say goodbye to the blood-red paint, the soul brother pictures, the chipped old bar, and the general comfortably lived-in feel.

Wilf - do you think there is a connection with this and the smoking ban? From talking to bar owners on the last few visits (over 2 years or so), there was a negative feeling [from the bar owners] to this new legislation.

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The Center for Disease Control in the US issued a report in 2002, contending that there was no statistically valid impact on bar revenues with a smoking ban. I'd be a little suspicious of a report based on sales taxes in a business that widely under reports revenues, but that's what they determined

 

CDC Report

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Our son used to do occasional Sunday evening dj'ing at a bar on 106th and Amsterdam. He said the smoking ban led to a drastic reduction in business. I've posited this theory on some board I used to belong to but let me reiterate that I think the ban hurt neighborhood hangouts but had no effect on the hormone-stoked yuppie pickup places like the ones that line 2d Avenue.

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I doubt if it's the main reason. More likely long-time owners passing away, or - like the French restaurant dinosaurs - clientele for a particular kind of establishment slowly becoming extinct.

 

Still, some moderately good news. Months back I bemoaned the passing of the North Star, an honest sort of clam 'n' beer pub in the Fulton St Fish Market area, next door to the also defunct Sloppy Louie's restaurant. Both premises have been taken over by Heartland Brewery, and converted into a bar and adjacent dining room. I took a look inside. I am no big fan of the frat atmosphere and novelty beers purveyed by Heartland at their various locations, but - purely from the viewpoint of a sense of place - they have been decent enough to leave things fairly alone. The bar, which used to be the North Star pub, is little changed; indeed, it still has the attractive glass dividers with the North Star symbol carved on them. One can no longer enter what was Sloppy Louie's through the front door, but must use an entrance (to the so-called "Beer Hall") in the rear of the bar. However, the general shape and look of the Sloppy Louie dining room has been retained. Original tile floor, original ceiling. There are shelves holding old beer mugs, and historic photos of district bars, which - if not original - are appropriate. Sadly, booths have been squeezed into the spaces each side of the door which used to hold displays of shark jawbones and other maritime paraphernalia.

 

The grub is just pub grub - nothing special to the fish market. But at least they haven't absolutely ruined the look of the place (see Mare Chiaro thread).

 

Incidentally, should you be in the neighborhood, the Seaport Museum has developed its permanent exhibit into a very worthwhile and extensive review of the area's history, and it's worth going alone to see the lovely "scrimshaw" objects - decorated and engraved whales' teeth and bones.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm not sure Mars Bar on Second Avenue needs saving, or indeed should be saved, but I may as well post the link here, as it certainly represents a dying New York bar tradition.

 

This is the tradition where the restrooms are full of people doing crack, there are naked customers walking around on the bar, and everyone feels kind of proud because there was a stabbing last week. I like dives, and I go to some fairly grotty ones, but this is a bar I always warn people to avoid. It is both filthy and hostile, not the best combination. Having said all that, I think George Gurley's piece in the Observer is a fine piece of casual writing, in the best Joe Mitchell tradition, bringing to life - a kind of life anyway - both the bar and its "big pimping" owner.

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  • 5 weeks later...

Tragic news about the Landmark Tavern posted on the Midtown West thread by Tamar.

 

apparently closed

 

The bar was carved from a single tree. :blush:

 

Research suggests this was the third oldest bar in the city (opened 1868) - McSorley's being the oldest, followed by Pete's on Irving Place. Places like the Bridge Cafe and Fraunces Tavern might have been around longer in one form or another, but have not - I believe - been bars throughout their history. And the Landmark's passing was almost unnnnoticed.

 

It was noted in recent years for its single malt collection, and whisky tastings were a regular event. However, the location was not good. I assume that back in the old days, it was a busy dockside tavern - I am assuming there was some landfill which put some distance between the tavern and the river. But that stretch of Eleventh must have been quiet for quite a few years now.

 

Let's see what happens to the building. :blush:

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  • 4 months later...

The good news is that disrespectful sports posters and stickers have been removed from the paintings on the walls of Mare Chiaro (allegedly now the Mulberry Street Bar), and the defacement of the interior is now restricted to several flat TV screens. Not as bad as when I last stopped by.

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  • 4 weeks later...
Tragic news about the Landmark Tavern posted on the Midtown West thread by Tamar.

 

apparently closed

 

The bar was carved from a single tree. :blink:

 

Research suggests this was the third oldest bar in the city (opened 1868) ...And the Landmark's passing was almost unnnnoticed.

Good news, according to TONY.

 

With a restored interior, and an Australian chef offering a more ambitious menu, the Landmark lives again. And the scotch eggs are back. We shall have to see what the restored interior entails, but I am pleasantly surprised that someone invested in this remote location.

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