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A Love Letter To Not-Yet-Dead Goodbye Blue Monday From an Open-Mic Regular

(Photo: Chris Tonucci)

(Photo: Chris Tonucci)

While I usually look down on eulogizing something that hasn’t yet passed, I thoroughly endorse any preemptive tributes for Goodbye Blue Monday. This isn’t to say that I want or expect the longstanding Bushwick venue to close. The opposite is true: I think anyone who’s ever gigged or killed time there should come out black-veils-and-all and throw money to its piles of twisted scrap-heap metal and forever-untouched records.
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So Much For Rent on Grand Street, But Change Comes Slowly

Grand St. Bakery, a vintage general store, moved into an old, un-renovated store space on Grand about four years ago. The space hasn't always been easy. (Photo: Elizabeth Flock)

Grand St. Bakery, a vintage general store, moved into an old, un-renovated store space on Grand about four years ago. The space hasn’t always been easy. (Photos: Elizabeth Flock)

Trendy shops open every other week on Grand Street near Bedford Avenue, but across the BQE in Williamsburg, the same street is experiencing growing pains. At least 16 shuttered storefronts line the six-block stretch along Grand from Union to Bushwick Avenue.

Spaces belonging to mom-and-pop stores have been put up for grabs, but instead of being replaced by beard-wax emporiums and bespoke monocle shops, their “For Rent” signs have lingered for months. While at least one developer is banking on “a migration to the eastern part of Williamsburg” as he replaces the Liberty department store with a Gene Kaufman-designed building at 774 Grand, it seems this part of Grand won’t be undergoing a major transformation in the immediate future. 

Here’s a sampling of Grand Street shops that are currently closed or in need of tenants:

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Peels Has Closed, and Its Ketchup Will Be Missed

Danny Kim

Photo: Danny Kim

Some loved their biscuits, others hated their unholy wait times but many took to Twitter upon discovering that Peels has unceremoniously closed. For starters, Claire Lobenfeld (@clairevlo) tweeted, “You served the only ketchup that didn’t trigger my mortuusequusphobia” (yes, there’s a word for fear of ketchup). We’ve gone ahead and rounded up some of the most extreme reactions to the loss of this Bowery brunch spot.
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Shirts & Destroy Leaves the City, But You Can Still Rock Its Tees

ShirtsDestroy3

(Photo: Natalie Rinn)

Shirts & Destroy – a company that releases tee shirts designed by local artists, tattooers and bands – has closed its Greenpoint store and is leaving the city.

Ryan Begley opened the brick-and-mortar version of his online shop two years ago, but had to close it earlier this month due to – you guessed it – a rent hike. Two of them, actually: one at the shop at 293 Manhattan Ave. and the other at his Lower East Side apartment.
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Motor City Bar Threw Itself a Going-Away Party

Image(3)Last night Motor City Bar celebrated “17 years of sex, drugs and rock n roll,” as the invite to its going-away bash put it. We stopped by the Lower East Side dive and got a few photos of the packed, humid room, presided over by the gyrating Anna CopaCabanna and — in the DJ nook — Dion Lunadon of A Place to Bury Strangers.

If you missed the official sendoff, don’t worry: the whiskey will be flowing for another week.

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Bye Bye, Blarney Cove: An Irish Holdover Packs Up the Shillelagh

Bartender Lisa Ramsay (Photo: JP Grace)

Bartender Lisa Ramsay (Photo: JP Grace)

Blarney Cove (Photos: Scott Lynch)

Blarney Cove (Photos: Scott Lynch)

Blarney Cove (Photos: Scott Lynch)

Blarney Cove (Photos: Scott Lynch)

Blarney Cove (Photos: Scott Lynch)

Blarney Cove (Photos: Scott Lynch)

Blarney Cove (Photos: Scott Lynch)

Blarney Cove (Photos: Scott Lynch)

Blarney Cove (Photos: Scott Lynch)

Blarney Cove (Photos: Scott Lynch)

Blarney Cove (Photos: Scott Lynch)

Blarney Cove (Photos: Scott Lynch)

Blarney Cove (Photos: Scott Lynch)

Blarney Cove (Photos: Scott Lynch)

Blarney Cove (Photos: Scott Lynch)

Blarney Cove (Photos: Scott Lynch)

Blarney Cove (Photos: Scott Lynch)

Blarney Cove (Photos: Scott Lynch)

Blarney Cove (Photo: Scott Lynch)

Blarney Cove (Photo: Scott Lynch)

(Photo: Scott Lynch)

Sometime around 1977, Father Time ducked into the Blarney Cove on East 14th Street and never bothered to start the clock back up when he left. A gnarled shillelagh, or “Irish whuppin’ stick,” hangs on the wall beneath the television, which is typically tuned to baseball or horse races. There’s a working payphone and a video poker game by the tables in the rear. A faint odor of stale beer floats around.

Sadly, there are just a scant few days left to grab a cheap domestic draft at this sliver of old New York. The Cove will close its doors for good at the end of this month. It’s “going the way of Mars Bar and CBGB,” says bartender Lisa Ramsay.
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