08 May 2009

Who's Mike? And What Was He to Chumley's

I went by Chumley's recently, because a reader sent me a disturbing note saying that she had "inside news" that the former speakeasy would never reopen, at least not in that location.

I didn't find out anything new, except to spot a couple recent notices (May 4) from the DOB stating they had tried, and failed, to gain access to make an inspection.

But while walking away, I stumbled upon a mystery I couldn't fathom. At the corner of Bedford and Barrow, scrawled in chalk and marker on the brick wall, are a great number of messages to one Mike. Based on the tenor of the notes ("Have a good journey. We will meet again"; "Whatever will become of this space, we will never forget you"; "For 40 years we talked and walked about being vets"), Mike appears to have passed away. He also seems to have something to do with Chumley's. The longest message reads, "Mike, you and Chumley's have come and gone from here, but it is you that I miss."

A former bartender? A longtime patron? Anybody out there know?


Anonymous said...

Maybe Mike was the dog that was always around.. dunno.

Shorts said...

Yeah - Mike is a guy that used to sit on the corner by Chumley's almost every day. He would sit on a fold out chair. He passed away in the fall I believe. There were candles lit - a little memorial. Just a neighborhood guy.

Anonymous said...

Mike O'Brien lived in the apartment right on the corner of Bedford & Barrow. He had to move out after the debacle with the Chumley's tear down (the landlady is awful). He lived in that apartment for god knows how many years. Well, he died a few months ago. The scribblings were memorials. He is missed.

Brooks of Sheffield said...

Thanks for the information, guys.