Longtime Washington Heights Favorite Coogan’s Bar Is Permanently Closing

Claire Leaden Claire Leaden

Longtime Washington Heights Favorite Coogan’s Bar Is Permanently Closing

Sadly the effects of restaurant and bar closures due to the coronavirus lockdown are now having permanent repercussions.

After SoHo’s Lucky Strike, another beloved NYC hotspot has closed down: Coogan’s Bar in Washington Heights.

The Irish pub opened in 1985 and was known for being a welcoming space for a melting pot of customers. A heartfelt goodbye in The New York Times wrote said it “became an Irish place where the bartenders were Dominican-Americans and the waiters African-American and the customers, all of the above and more.” Coogan’s “pulsed with the heartbeat of the world. It shut its doors because of the virus lockdown, and now they won’t reopen.”

The restaurant shared a long letter explaining the decision and saying goodbye on its website and social media pages.

“We need your help in saying farewell in a message that is so very difficult to write. What’s missing are your stories and wishes and even pics that will make whole the heart of our saying goodbye. Ironically, this past March 17t​h​ would be the last time Coogan’s closed its doors. We had hoped to open them again but sadly that it is not possible.

“To all our Coogan’s family that extends from a corner in New York’s Washington Heights to so many in near and distant places, we offer love and best wishes that you remain safe, strong and healthy for now and ever.”

You can read the full note here.

Coogan’s was at risk of closing once before—when their landlord (New York Presbyterian) hiked up rent in 2018. Luckily Lin-Manuel Miranda (who grew up nearby) swooped in to save them, helping with negotiations. Although this time the hospital promised a moratorium on rent, the Times reported, with insurance costs and monthly leases for kitchen equipment the owners were still unable to afford it with no money coming in.

The Broadway star Tweeted his condolences, along with other New Yorkers who feel that a fundamental piece of NYC is now lost.

featured image source: Facebook / Coogan’s NYC

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