15 November 2012

Bill's Gay 90s Sign Removed

UPDATE: I've learned that the sign is back up. It was taken down for repairs, and then returned to its old position.


The large, gold Bill's Gay 90s sign—the last remnant of the E. 54th Street former speakeasy that closed last March after nearly a century in business—was removed form the facade of the building today. A reader sent me the above photo. All the other old artifacts—the old bar, the pictures on the wall, etc.—that once made up the joint's character, were taken away by the former owner. The restaurant that will replace it, called Bill's Food & Drink, is scheduled to open next week.


upstate Johnny G said...

A sad day, indeed. I think it's despicable that the new "occupant" of that space intends to still use the name "Bill's" ....just a scammie way to trick people into thinking that it's somehow related to Bill's in a positive way. I'm tempted to go to their opening, drink at the bar, and tell all the customers around me what a crock this whole thing is. Of course if I did that they'd probably bounce me out on my head.....funny though...I don't I don't ever recall seeing someone bounced from The Real Bill's. If I had the money I'd help Barbara reopen nearby with the old name...that would scorch'em!

John Woodford said...

This takeover has to be one of the worst. They way they are portraying the invasion as saving a dying business and restoring its classic authenticity is absolutely disgusting. My mind can't even process how they could make those claims and live with themselves. If I could have stopped any of the never ending destruction of real, old New York, this would have been the one.

chills said...

When I went to work on Park Avenue in Midtown in 1983 our offices were around the corner from this venerable oasis. I was new to New York and the "real world" having come from grad school in small town Ohio. An older guy from the office took me to Bill's for drinks after work one day. I was nervous at first, thinking the name of the joint might connote a sexual orientation. Of course my colleague was not gay, just a nice guy and an alcoholic. And although I never became a regular customer, Bill's Gay 90s was my first authentic NYC barroom experience.
I havent been back often of late but I will miss the idea of Bill's Gay 90s no longer being in business.