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They're not doing well. There was a recent email from them basically saying that they might not last long enough to get the license. Stephanie, were they crowded?

 

At 6:15, there were 3 people at tables, on their laptops, and 2 people at the bar, including me. While I was there, about 3 or 4 people came in to get coffee. I agree that they need their license ASAP, but I'm hoping they get enough support to stay afloat while they wait. So if you're in the neighborhood, stop by.

 

Does anyone know when they're going to resubmit the application, or send in the petition? (They have about 1000 names on the petition so far.)

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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.

There is evil afoot in this city. We are approaching too rapidly the point at which lawyers specialising in license work will be advising clients not even to attempt to open downtown.

 

I wonder what liability of community board members looks like.

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September 26, 2006

 

Thank you for writing about Blind Tiger Ale House. I am mystified that people were informed that the State Liquor Authority (SLA) denied the establishment’s liquor license based on a letter from my office. While I appreciate the implied notion that a single letter from my office could have this effect, it is simply not the case.

 

I often hear from residents in opposition to either the oversaturation of liquor licenses or past behavior of a particular owner and try to take a balanced approach. I have written to the SLA in opposition to the granting of some of these liquor licenses, especially when I’ve received complaints or when an area is heavily impacted. Although I did write to the SLA regarding Blind Tiger Ale House, I am not aware of any instance when a single letter written by an elected official has sufficient weight to cause the denial of a license.

 

Regardless, after making inquiries with the SLA, it seems clear that Blind Tiger was denied a liquor license based on misrepresentations provided in its application and because the establishment’s proximity to a house of worship violates a strictly-interpreted state statute. I cannot imagine a situation in which the SLA could or would grant a liquor license that contradicts this statute.

 

Thank you again for writing to share your views with me.

 

Sincerely,

 

<>Deborah J. Glick

Assemblymember

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Thank goodness for Pedro's Spanish American. A true delight, and threatened by gentrification rather than irrelevance. I was forewarned that the local hipsters had adopted it: true - I assume they like the mock-adobo facade and the very cheap, but strong, cocktails. Happily, they all sit outside on the terrace, leaving the dark basement bar to regulars and taste-setters like my good self. One could branch out from Bud here, and order (if one chose) black Russians or margueritas. A hot food bar offers everything from tacos to rice and beans to burgers. I wasn't eating, but I noted huge cubanos ($4.50) and heaping plates of nachos. Bachata twitters quietly in the background. It purports to be Mexican, but the owners, I believe, are not.

 

This is one to re-visit.

 

Made it back for an evening of drinking and grazing, with old and new salsa DVDs playing in the background. The food isn't at the level of a place like Coatzingho, but it's solid, and the prices are insane. Also, it isn't straight Mexican, but a cheerful Latino mix. Super-nachos were too much for two people; you can choose a meat topping, and we went for big chunks of perniz. I worked away for a long time, but the plate couldn't be finished. It was either $8 or $10. Tacos are $2.50 each: double corn tortilla with your choice of meats, piled with fresh salad and various saucy squirts. To think you could order two of these monsters for $5. Anyway, we ate, we drank, and seemed to make no inroads either in the food or the pile of bills on the bar. I wish this was in my neighborhood.

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A very nice bit of writing in today's NY Times about the passing of a Brooklyn bar owner. For once they're talking about a bar that *isn't* Farrel's.

 

Same Old Bar? How Could It Be, Without Patrick?

By Michael Wilson

Published: November 2, 2006

 

One of those New York City bar guides prints helpful little symbols to describe each spot, and beside the entry for O’Connor’s in Park Slope, there is a silhouette of a man diving into the water.

 

A dive bar. Patrick O’Connor, the owner, hated that label. He didn’t stand here all day, every day, running a cheap dump. And by the way, when his was the only place around for blocks and blocks, when the drug dealers outside outnumbered the old men on the stools, he didn’t hear anybody complaining.

 

“We don’t do much here,” said Mr. O’Connor’s son Joseph, 42, sitting at the bar’s dark wood. “What you do, you do well. Here, you get a good drink in a clean glass at a reasonable price. He hated the word ‘dive.’ ”

 

A good drink: Patrick kept the liquor lined neatly behind the bar. On the way out the door after closing time, he would dump fresh ice on the bottles of beer. Nothing colder on a hot day. He always used a shot glass to make drinks, so the customer knew just what he was getting. And on Sunday, it is worth the trip just to watch the 78-year-old bartender, Charlie Campbell of Ireland, make a bloody mary. His back ramrod-straight, he pumps the tumbler out and down, out and down, looking like Jack La Lanne with one of his health juices.

 

A reasonable price: Patrick once told his son, “Joe, I raised the price a nickel, and I took 50 cents of abuse.” The highest amount on the ancient cash register, still in use, is on a button marked $3. That’s what most everything costs.

 

Clean glasses: perhaps the most important part to Patrick O’Connor. “This place was like his garden,” said Kevin Kash, 38, a bartender. “He’d sit here and wash the glasses the way you’d bathe a child. He had newspaper spread all over the bar. He’d wash one and look at it, wash it, look at it.”

 

Patrick was born on Nov. 13, 1932, in Galway, and was a baby when the family moved to Brooklyn. His father, Dominick O’Connor, opened O’Connor’s Bar and Grill on Fifth Avenue, on a trolley line just off Flatbush Avenue, in 1933. The grill part was dubious. People came to drink. Patrick began working there as a boy, cleaning the spittoons on either side of the long bar, and later took the place over.

 

He changed next to nothing. The room snuffs out sunlight and replaces it with either abject gloominess and despair or a cozy, warm embrace, depending on how you feel about dark bars. That big moose’s head mounted on the wall? Patrick said it was the last moose in Ireland, and that his father shot it. Patrick said a lot of things.

 

“They tell you, never talk politics or religion in a bar,” said Mr. Kash. “Well, he thought politics was one of the only things worth talking about.” He had a saying, when he left for the day: “Keep smiling.”

 

He survived the hard times in the 1970s and into the ’80s in this way, talking and shining glasses and pouring honest shots of rye. He worked all night and into the morning, closing at 4 a.m. He could not afford a porter to clean the place, so he did it himself. He preferred to leave after sunup anyway, both for his safety and for the bar’s. He could not afford a break-in.

 

“He was like a farmer,” said Bart DeCoursy, 34, who used to tend bar at O’Connor’s. “A city farmer. It really was like a day-in, day-out thing. This was his.”

 

Patrick had six children. He and their mother divorced. “We had an absentee father,” Joe said. “He was killing himself. There was no money here. He’d come home and have a couple sandwiches and a couple cans of beer and go to bed.”

 

Joe took the day shifts at the bar with the old-man regulars. “They were depressing, depressing,” he said. “After 8 or 10 hours, you’d want to hang yourself. But when he came in at 6, the whole atmosphere changed. He lit the place up.”

 

Then the neighborhood came back. Patrick said he always knew it would. "He was right," Joe said. "He paid the price, but he was right."

 

Suddenly, it was not unusual to enter O’Connor’s and see something unfathomable a few years earlier: young customers in their 20s and 30s, and lots of them. Drawn to the jukebox, generally regarded as top notch, and the drink prices, the new face of Park Slope — generally smooth-skinned and white — began to outnumber the old men.

 

The cancer came about five years ago, starting in Patrick’s lungs. “Typical Irish,” Joe said. “He waited to go to the doctor. He thought he could take care of it himself.” He kept working. Patrick O’Connor died Oct. 8, a few weeks after walking out of his bar for the last time. He was 73.

 

His son gathered a few dozen of the regulars at the bar last week, poured Irish whiskey for everyone, and gave a toast: “He believed even the bad times were always a good time for good friends and good customers.”

 

Try to find a bar owner in the city today who spends every day behind the bar. It is easier to find a moose in Ireland. With Patrick gone, O’Connor’s cut its hours, opening at 5 p.m. on weekdays. Few even noticed. Most of the old regulars are gone, too. The prevailing belief at last week’s gathering was that wherever they were, they were all together, with plenty of clean glasses that would not stay clean all night.

 

“He’d say, ‘If I could have anything,’ ” Mr. Kash said, “ ‘I’d have a little tavern on the side of the road, and be a friend to all men.’ ”

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Made it back for an evening of drinking and grazing, with old and new salsa DVDs playing in the background. The food isn't at the level of a place like Coatzingho, but it's solid, and the prices are insane. Also, it isn't straight Mexican, but a cheerful Latino mix. Super-nachos were too much for two people; you can choose a meat topping, and we went for big chunks of perniz. I worked away for a long time, but the plate couldn't be finished. It was either $8 or $10. Tacos are $2.50 each: double corn tortilla with your choice of meats, piled with fresh salad and various saucy squirts. To think you could order two of these monsters for $5. Anyway, we ate, we drank, and seemed to make no inroads either in the food or the pile of bills on the bar. I wish this was in my neighborhood.

Trying to find Pedro's number, related to a crucial piece of musicological research, and I discovered the menu has been posted on menupages. Look at these yummo prices:

 

Pedro's

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The West End Bar, amidst the Columbia University campus - watering hole for Burroughs, Kerouac, Ginsberg, et al, back in the beat heyday, is now Havana Central at West End. Yes, a Cuban makeover, according to Time Out.

 

I am not crying too much over this one. I visited during the summer with Lippy and ranitidine, and the place didn't exactly ooze atmosphere. Neal Casady would have liked some finger-popping Cuban jazz, I'm sure.

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The West End Bar, amidst the Columbia University campus - watering hole for Burroughs, Kerouac, Ginsberg, et al, back in the beat heyday, is now Havana Central at West End. Yes, a Cuban makeover, according to Time Out.

 

I am not crying too much over this one. I visited during the summer with Lippy and ranitidine, and the place didn't exactly ooze atmosphere. Neal Casady would have liked some finger-popping Cuban jazz, I'm sure.

 

The West End re-did itself about 15 years ago from what I remember. Changed ownership, remodeled and became a Columbia bar. I went in with Ginny and some friends about 10 years ago, we had a good laugh and walked out. I lived two blocks away in '74 and it was a great dive with atmosphere (and patrons) oozing away. Good jazz too.

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