The end of closing night at Rosemary’s Greenpoint Tavern, 3/1/19 at 4am. (Photos: Nick McManus)

Williamsburg became a boozy funeral row on Thursday with the closings of Rosemary’s Greenpoint Tavern and The Abbey. Nostalgic drinkers bounced from Bedford to Driggs all night, filling both bars to the brim for hours.

Rosemary’s regulars enjoying the styrofoam cups, 2/28/19 at 7:30pm.

Rosemary Bleday– who once told us “This bar is Brooklyn to me”– wasn’t on hand to bid her namesake tavern farewell. (Its home of 65 years has been bought by real estate developer Redsky Capital.) Grandson Eric Carson told me she’s been hospitalized for the past few weeks and that he and his parents, Bleday’s daughter Debra and her husband Frank, wished she could have been there with them.

Rosemary’s owner and daughter Debra Carson (center, left photo) with husband Frank and son Eric (left and right) holding a photo of her mother Rosemary Bleday, 2/28/19 at 7pm.

Also missing was longtime bartender Peggy, who I had photographed 15 years earlier on New Year’s Eve 2004.  She was sidelined a year ago; when I brought in new prints of her, one of the regulars wanted them for a scrapbook that customers were putting together.

Longtime Rosemary’s bartender Peggy pouring styrofoam cups on New Year’s Eve 2004.

The crowd at Rosemary’s swelled at happy hour and peaked upon the delivery of the bar’s styrofoam cups, a trademark before they were banned. Cheers rang out as everyone raised the cups with names Sharpied on them. Outside, while seven-year doorman Tom held court over the smokers, I spoke with bartender Renee Rodgers. “I didn’t know what to expect when I started here 10 months ago,” she told me, “but the best part was meeting the regulars and hearing Rosemary’s stories.”

The exterior of Rosemary’s Greenpoint Tavern on its final Friday, 2/22/19 at 4pm.

Down the block at The Abbey, which opened in 1997, live music during happy hour got its mourners raging early. The beer ran out shortly after 10pm, but the liquor kept the five bartenders busy till they kicked everyone out at 4am. In the midst of it all was a small reunion of former bartenders, including 10-year veteran Tania Cross. “I was living on North 8th Street and was already a regular when I was offered the job here,” said Cross, who now works at Bushwick’s Cobra Club. “Right away, it was a dream come true. I only had to walk three blocks to work and my rent got paid.”

Smokers outside The Abbey, 2/28/19 at 9pm.

Soon after, The Abbey’s owner, Michael Kearney, walked in the door. At 80 years old, Kearney is a contemporary of his neighbor Rosemary as well as a fellow native New Yorker hailing from Hell’s Kitchen. His daughter, Jessica Cloonan, told me how his small bar empire started years ago with a pioneering LGBT bar named Queens, for which he resisted intimidation from local bigots. Kearney has since become an owner of such diverse hipster havens as The Charleston, MetropolitanMacri Park and Alligator Lounge.

Former Abbey bartender Tania Cross (left) with doorman as owner Michael Kearney (right) walked in the bar, 2/28/19 at 10pm.

During my conversation with Cloonan, I mentioned that last April I was at closing night of another bar named The Abbey Pub, on the Upper West Side. Taken aback, Cloonan replied, “Oh my God! Not only did my dad co-own that place with Paul [Holland] but he met my mom there before they bought it.” The two Abbeys were little-known sister bars. “My dad couldn’t make it to the closing that night because he was in the hospital, but you know what? If wasn’t for that Abbey I wouldn’t be here.”

The Abbey’s sister-bar co-owner Paul Holland with his son (far left) on its closing night, 5/1/18 at 4am.

Both Rosemary’s and The Abbey were at capacity by 11pm so my friends and I hit up nearby Vinnie’s Pizzeria and then The Charleston. After that, we stumbled back to The Abbey right as bartender Polina Buckley was scaling the front canopy. Finding her footing, she raised her cigarette and proclaimed to her dozen denizens, “May your cirrhosis of the liver be the result of tonight! Long live The Abbey and may it live in out hearts forever!”

The Abbey bartender Polina Buckley giving a goodbye speech to her smokers, 2/28/19 at 9pm.

Last call at closing night of The Abbey in Williamsburg featuring its last bartending team (right photo), 3/1/19 at 3:30am. (Photos: Nick McManus)

Longtime Rosemary’s customers enjoying its final Friday, 2/22/19 at 6pm.

European tourists enjoying Rosemary’s for the first time, 2/22/19 at 6pm.

Patrons smoking outside The Abbey on its final Friday, 2/22/19 at 6:30pm.

The Abbey manager David (right) with writer Nick McManus during his final Friday shift, 2/22/19 at 6:30pm.

Writer Nick McManus playing with fellow Abbey patron’s large dog, 2/22/19 at 7pm.

Spectrum News NY1 reporter Ruschell Boone (center) interviewing Rosemary’s owner Debra Carson (right), 2/28/19 at 7pm.

Rosemary’s bartender Crystal (center) soon after the styrofoam cups were ceremoniously delivered, 2/28/19 at 7pm.

Rosemary’s patrons enjoying the styrofoam cups, 2/28/19 at 8pm.

Longtime patron Ray with his signed styrofoam cup, 3/1/19 at 1am.

Rosemary’s patrons seated at booth, 2/28/19 at 8pm.

Rosemary’s patrons seated at booth, 2/28/19 at 7pm.

Local artists Bruce La Bounty, Russell Murphy (left and right), and bike messenger Stevie Steve, 3/1/19 at 1am.

Rosemary’s doorman Tom with patrons during his final shift, 2/28/19 at 8:30pm.

Rosemary’s bartender Renee Rodgers (right) with patron with the tavern’s iconic neon sign, 2/28/19 at 8:30pm.

Patrons packed into The Abbey on its final night, 2/28/19 at 9:30pm.

The Abbey manager David with the bar’s special closing t-shirts, 2/28/19 at 10pm.

Former Abbey bartender Tania Cross (left) with doorman as owner Michael Kearney (right) walked in the bar, 2/28/19 at 10pm.

Exterior of The Abbey’s Manhattan sister bar of the same name on its final day, 4/30/18 at 3pm.

The Abbey owner Michael Kearney (center) with his daughter Jessica Cloonan (second right) and their former employees, 2/28/19 at 10:30pm.

The Abbey’s patrons by the rear photo booth, 2/28/19 at 9:30pm.

The Abbey’s barroom on its final night, 3/1/19 at 2am.

The Abbey’s patrons on its final night, 2/28/19 at 11p.

Exterior of The Abbey on its final night, 3/1/19 at 11:30p.