By now, most of you know that Rodeo Bar was closing. It shuttered yesterday, after nearly 30 years on 3rd Avenue.
In a farewell profile to the popular honky-tonk, the Times writes today that the closure came "after 27 years of holding out, Alamo style, against rising rents and marching chain stores."
I had never heard of Rodeo Bar until some readers wrote in, weeks ago, to tell me about the closure. I'm really not the Urban Cowboy type.
Recently, I went for the first time, for lunch, which is probably not exactly prime-time to go. It was quiet. I had a burger. While a western-style bar is not the sort of place I generally frequent, Rodeo was a survivor, a long-lasting small business standing since 1987 against the corporatization of the city, and that's something.
It is yet another casualty of New York's massive, homogenizing shift.
From the Times:
"The owner, Mitch Pollak, said changes in the neighborhood had made him decide to close. When he bought the Rodeo Bar in 1996, his monthly payments for rent and insurance averaged $10,000, he said; today they amount to almost $50,000. Chains occupied many of the neighboring storefronts, including 7-Eleven, Dunkin’ Donuts, Subway, Starbucks and Duane Reade Express, and they made the block feel sterile, Mr. Pollak said."
"Young customers have also drifted off in recent years to new, local bars that offer sports on flatscreens, rather than honky-tonk tunes and Texas beer. 'The neighborhood changed a lot,' said Mr. Pollak, 55. 'We didn’t change at all.'"