04 March 2012

Bill's Gay Nineties to Close March 24

As first reported here on Feb. 10, Bill's Gay Nineties, the irreplaceable speakeasy-era bar on E. 54th Street, is closing. It is being pushed out by its landlord, Noel Tynan (who seems to live in Ireland, and therefore understands a great deal about the needs and desires of New Yorkers). Tynan reportedly refused to negotiate with Bill's owner, Barbara Bart Olmsted. The final day on Earth for Bill's will by March 24, confirmed the New York Times.

The article tells us a few interesting facts about the place—which make it all the harder to part with it:

*Greeter Aldo Leone, 88, is a close relative to the famed restaurateur Mama Leone!

*A false brick wall in the basement still opens to a secret room where liquor was kept during Prohibition.

The article said, "There has been talk that John DeLucie, a chef and owner of trendy restaurants like the Lion and Crown, may take over the spot, but details have not been confirmed."

It's happening. Believe me.

There have also been reports that Oldsted is going to take with her not only all the pictures on the walls, but the swinging bars and the bar itself. After they are gone, whatever DeLucie comes up with certainly won't bear any relationship to the old Bill's. 

1 comment:

Jackmac said...

If you look back at the property records, Ms. Olmsted had the first right to purchase the building if it were ever sold, which she waived back in 1980. She could have been her own landlord if she had done so.