After announcing its closure in March, Silent Barn said goodbye on Sunday night with a concert aptly named Last Rites. The all-night event included a line-up of house favorites and a back-room dance party where the partitioned workspaces had been demolished ahead of the collectively-run Bushwick venue’s departure. Though it survived the loss of its previous space, a fire in the new one and constant financial issues, Silent Barn had soldiered on inside its bright, muraled collection of buildings on a tiny trianglular city block. Local youth community group Educated Little Monsters, which was housed there, had hoped to take over the lease with the help of a recent fundraiser but as ELM founder Yazmine “Jazo Brooklyn” Colon told us, “the landlord would not negotiate even though were under the impression he would.”
Williamsburg brunch spot Lodge closed Monday night after over 14 years in the heart of the neighborhood. Co-owned by Dan Cipriani, who also runs nearby Urban Rustic and Bushwick’s Seawolf, Lodge could “no longer compete with the astronomical rent in Williamsburg,” it said on its Instagram. “We’ve been pushed out.”
Beloved bar Red Hook Bait and Tackle said farewell to its tight-knit family with a party that raged well after the cops came, as advertised. Owner Barry O’Meara, who’s closing the bar after 14 years due to the neighborhood’s “different financial demographics,” hosted an all-day affair that started with a chili cook-off, continued with a full concert and ended with a dance party where locals mixed their sweat and tears till the doors finally shut for good at 6am.
Bar Matchless closed last night and it stayed crowded till the very end. All of hipsterdom from the realms of musicians, DJs, artists and those with 9-to-5 jobs came to celebrate what was for many the Ellis Island of Williamsburg. Owner Erik Green made a last call at 3:30am and it took another hour to empty the place out.
Barflies of every drinking age said their goodbyes to Grassroots Tavern last month and kept the East Village dive busy right up till its final day on New Year’s Eve. During the time I spent there during its last days, it was never empty. Even in the early afternoon, people just off from work or school, along with curious tourists, finished off pitchers and munched on dollar bowls of popcorn.
Schiller’s Liquor Bar closed out its last night Sunday with cheers, confetti and cocktails galore. The bistro, which in May announced that it would shutter due to a rent hike, remained crowded well past its normal midnight closing hour and food was also served late. Longtime patron Michael Reynolds, who also co-owns neighboring Black Crescent, held court at the center of the bar where he stood on the stretchers of his stool, cheered, and liberally passed drinks to friends.
Don Pedro went out with a bang this past Sunday thanks to a 10-band lineup that went till 4am. The music rocked, beer rained overhead, and cigarettes from the basement made the place smell like a pre-Bloomburg punk paradise. The goodbye had been in the works ever since it was announced in March that the Williamsburg property had been sold.
Yesterday, after two decades on East Sixth Street, Love Shine packed up its handmade bags and closed its doors. After hosting a farewell party last week, owner Mark Seamon spent his last days greeting customers who came to say goodbye and wish their best to a person who clearly touched his small corner of downtown’s vibrant scene.
One of Chinatown’s oldest businesses, Fong Inn Too, shuttered over the weekend after 82 years in business. It was thought to be the oldest family-run tofu shop in the country. Opened in 1933 by a Guangzhou immigrant, Geu Yee Eng, the Mott Street shop grew into a factory churning out about 10,000 squares of tofu per day. Still, in 2011, third-generation owner David Eng told WNYC that business was “terribly slow,” and lamented that the family’s fourth generation had no interest in taking it over.
OK, we’re almost in the clear for anything New Year’s Eve-related. But before we hurdle head-first into 2017, there’s one more place we lost over the holiday weekend that’s worth pouring one out for: a Williamsburg bar called Daddy’s.
Another venue spent New Year’s Eve saying their last goodbyes to regulars and anyone else with a drink in their hand. For the last few years, Cake Shop was running on borrowed time. Back in 2012, when the gritty bitty Lower East Side venue’s Ludlow Street neighbor, The Living Room, closed up shop after more than 15 years in business, it seemed like it was only a matter of time.
Last year was a rough one for cultural spaces of all kinds in New York City, so it was somewhat fitting (if not totally sad) that a slew of local spots said their peace-outs during New Year’s Eve festivities. Among the departing establishments that went out with a bang on one of the drunkest night of the year was Over the Eight, a Williamsburg bar which closed up shop after “three and a half years” of “slinging cheap drinks and treasured times” (as we heard back in November when the owners first announced their departure).