When Smith's Bar & Restaurant closed in October, after more than 60 years off Times Square, we figured it was gone for good, another old joint vanished forever.
The tipster who tipped me said it was due to "lease issues." When the mainstream media followed up on the news, they discovered that staffers were let go, Smith's was done, but management wasn't talking. No one would--or could--reveal why the bar was closing.
Sign removed weeks ago--photo by Davy Mack
Patrons jammed the place for a last hurrah. The bar shuttered and we watched while the beautiful, old neon sign was ripped down. Many of us figured that demolition would soon follow.
But something else is happening here.
On a recent walk by, I found a pair of workers putting the sign back into place, its chrome restored to a perfect shine.
The red backing has also been replaced. And it looks like neon tubes are going in next.
I don't know what we're getting here--plain old renovation or upscale re-do with so-called "homage"--but it looks like, one way or another, we might not have lost Smith's Bar after all.
Smith's Bar & Restaurant