07 March 2008

Joe Gould's Watching You

Whoever is getting their grubby mitts on the Minetta Tavern better know how to take care of it.

Eater reports that the landmark watering hole—one of the few genuine vestiges of old Greenwich Village left—may be changing hands. The buyer may be Keith McNally, who owns about 100 restaurants in town. Reports Eater:

...there is this interesting item on the upcoming agenda for the CB2 Business Committee: Minetta Lane, LLC at 111-113 MacDougal St. is applying for a liquor license transfer. This by no means confirms any involvement of one Sir McNally, nor does it unconfirm it certainly, but it does look like someone, something, sometime, soon, is happening the 71-year-old West Villager.

The Minetta has been on the corner of Macdougal and Minetta Lane since 1937. It has long been a haunt of writers and artists, the pictures and caricatures of many of whom are on the tavern walls. The place is perhaps best known for its association with Joe Gould, the quintessential Village eccentric and bohemian who was lionized by New York writer Joseph Mitchell. Gould used to cadge drinks off strangers with bits of his writing and his famous "seagull" imitation, and talk endlessly of his open, "An Oral History of Our Time," which he never finished, and probably never began. There's an oil portrait of old Joe on one of the walls.

No comments: