Enid’s, the bar whose motto was “since before you moved here,” is leaving Greenpoint after 20 years. Its final day will be March 31, according to an Instagram post.
Ashley James, who owns Enid’s with Jaime Eldredge, confirmed the announcement over the phone today. Sounding a positive note, she said there was no “juicy story” behind the decision. “We served our purpose for a good long time and now it’s time to move on.”
The announcement comes a year after another neighborhood staple across the street, Matchless, closed after 15 years.
With its arcade games, laid-back vibe, and rock cred (Fiery Furnaces played their first gigs there), Enid’s has long been known as “hipster central,” as The Guardian put it in its list of top music bars in New York. It was a standby and a date spot for people like Sasheer Zamata of Saturday Night Live, who told Joshua D. Fischer, author of our The Regulars column, what she loved about the decor:
It’s very do-it-yourself. Just strung-up lights, and during the holidays, they’ll have cutout paper snowflakes and draw on the windows. It’s really cute. Like someone’s house. Someone put personal care into it, and I like that aspect.
Another longtime regular told us he likes Enid’s because it “reminds me of a midwestern bar.”
When we asked James if the planned closing had anything to do with the changing neighborhood (there weren’t apartment towers across McCarren when Enid’s opened in 1998), James said, “There’s no ill will, we still love Greenpoint. Obviously the neighborhood is changing, but we still have regulars and a sense of community.”
Back in 2007, when I interviewed Lynnea Scalora, a musician who waited tables at Enid’s, for Grub Street, she said the bridge-and-tunnel crowd had “lately” discovered the place. “Maybe once a week I get a group of people ordering dirty martinis and coffee with dessert, or decaf or Splenda. All these things that aren’t what happens at Enid’s.” Gawker worried that it was “the end of brunch as we know it.”
Around that time, NYMag described Enid’s as a “shoulder-to-shoulder singles scene on weekend nights” and noted its “popular brunch (be prepared for a wait).” James acknowledged that “sales have declined a bit” over the years but noted that the bar’s famed brunch was still “super popular,” what with its cinnamon-roll pancakes, fried cheese grits, and free refills of coffee.