The Holland Bar has been on my list of classic dives to visit before they die. I am sad to report: It's too late. The Holland has been gutted, as the following tipster photo will attest. And somehow I don't think they're renovating.
photo & tip: Reed Korach
This just after Anthony Bourdain, mourning the loss of Siberia, praised the Holland, which he called: "A classic old-man bar." He also hailed the Distinguished Wakamba Lounge, a former after-work haunt of mine, and now I'm worried. What if Bourdain has reaper powers?
Josh Alan Friedman, author of Tales of Times Square, said of the Holland and other dives, "You need architecture that your grandfather once had dinner at. It’s important not to have everything torn down. It’s important to the human spirit."
The Holland was full of stories and memorabilia. TONY says the scripted sign above the bar dated back to 1937. And Shecky's gives a good description of the place: "Brick walls are coated with ragged sports pennants and Christmas lights. Oh, and don’t forget the ashes of a dead guy; regulars chipped in for cremation when one of their own passed in 1996."
Photo: Shanna Ravindra, NY Mag
Those are the ashes of Charlie O'Connor. You can read all about Mr. O'Connor here, and about how "the regulars voted to keep [his ashes] where they were--'until the Holland closes,' was the way they put it."
The Holland is now closed. So what will become of Charlie O'Connor's ashes?