By Gregg McQueen
It’s the very last call.
The institution will be closing its doors for good this spring.
Coogan’s Restaurant, a popular pub that catered to the diverse community uptown, hosted events and served as a meeting place for local leaders for more than 30 years, will shut down at the end of May.
The restaurant’s longtime owners — Peter Walsh, Dave Hunt and Tess McDade — insist they are being forced out by a massive rent increase from the building’s landlord, New York-Presbyterian Hospital.
Opened in 1985, Coogan’s immediately set out to be a welcoming establishment that embraced customers from all walks of life, Walsh said.
“When we opened, we were one of the first integrated bars in New York, and maybe the country,” said Walsh. “We were Dominican, African American, Irish, Jewish, and everyone got along. We embraced the neighborhood. It worked. But thirty-three years ago, you didn’t see that kind of thing.”
The restaurant continued to operate at 4015 Broadway while many other Washington Heights businesses closed their doors in the late 80’s and early 90’s, as the neighborhood was plagued by crime, drugs and riots.
“We were really a safe haven,” remarked Walsh.
Read more: Closing time at Coogan’s | Manhattan Times