24 February 2007

P & G Cafe Survives, for Now

Few corner bars are so well-known to New Yorkers at the P & G Cafe. Sitting at the northeast corner of 73rd and Amsterdam, it's too-good-to-be-true, old-school neon sign ("Cafe. Steaks. Bar. Chops. Cafe.") is easily viewable to anyone who climbs out of the 72nd Street subway stop and takes a glance around. And if it doesn't bring a smile to your face when you see, I don't really want to talk to you.

This last hangout for the proletariat on the Upper West Side has been in danger for the past couple months. Last year, their landlord told the owner, Steve Chahalas, that the bar wouldn't be getting a new lease once their present one was up in Dec. 31, 2008. There were protests, of course, and a petition, but probably the squeaky wheel that really got the landlord's grease was the Landmarks Preservation Commission ruling that the old neon sign couldn't be touched. (A good decision from the Landmarks people. Whaddaya know?)

Recently, P & G, which was founded in 1942, was offered a new lease, albeit at a 40 percent hike. There are still rumors that a bank will go in that corner space, but, for the time being, please, I beg of you—when you pass by P & G, stop in and buy several beers.

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