2019-02-09 13:34:541 Oct 2018 01:53 AM EST
-by Drew Kolar, Editor; Image: Rosemary’s iconic neon sign on Bedford Ave. (Image Source: Jason Bowen via Facebook)
Yet another beloved Brooklyn watering hole has announced that they are shutting their doors—and this one will hit locals much harder than most recent announcements.
Rosemary's Greenpoint Tavern, a decades-old dive bar located at 188 Bedford Ave., will be closing their doors at the end of this month. A staple in the neighborhood since opening in 1955, the family-owned, cash-only business will pour its last round of cheap drinks on February 28.
Eric Carson, the grandson of the bar’s longtime owner Rosemary Bleday, confirmed the closure this week, Gothamist reports. Bleday, 86, will also vacate her longtime upstairs apartment when she returns from the hospital in Staten Island after suffering three bruised ribs and a collapsed lung. Bleday began working the bar at age 22 when her parents bought the tavern. They also moved in above the bar. She has been pouring drinks ever since.
Rosemary’s has been known throughout the last six decades for their cheap drinks and, at one time, $3 beers served in 32-ounce Styrofoam cups (until New York City banned Styrofoam). With an ever evolving neighborhood and rising rents and prices throughout the borough, Rosemary’s was a safe haven for patrons who longed for the old days of Williamsburg.
According to Carson, the bar held its ground for a while despite receiving offers to sell. Developer RedSky Capital recently bought the building next door at 190 Bedford Avenue for $13.2 million, as well as buildings at 192 Bedford Ave and the buildings on the other side of Rosemary’s at 184-186 Bedford Ave.
While it has not been confirmed that the building at 188 has also been purchased by RedSky or any other entity, public records note that Debra Carson, Eric’s mother, has been the most recent owner. A patron noted to Brooklyn Based, however, that Bleday’s children have planned to sell the bar. The family, as well as the hospital-bound Rosemary, have not yet confirmed the sale.
The main reason for closing the bar, however, seems to be that the construction on either side of the building will cause structural damage.
“Unfortunately in doing that—them knocking down two buildings on either side of us, being a wood frame building—according to an engineer report, puts us at serious risk for damage,” Carson explained. “And my grandmother living up here wouldn’t be safe or conducive to running a business.”
Carson also notes that there are no plans to relocate the bar for a second time (before their opening on Bedford Ave. in 1955, the bar was located at Green St. and Manhattan Ave. in Greenpoint).
“The Greenpoint Tavern is here, 188 Bedford, and I don’t think we can recreate that anywhere else,” he said. “And it’s not an undertaking that someone of her age is willing to do as well. It wouldn’t be the same for her or for anybody, the customers.”
Rosemary’s will remain open through February 28 from 11 a.m. to 4 a.m. daily for locals to pay their respects before the doors close for good.
“The 28th is an end of an era basically, so we’re just gonna try and drink all the booze,” Carson told Gothamist. “It’s sad, but the only thing we can do at this point is to celebrate it.”
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