Chumley’s is still nowhere near ready to open, but when it does, it will not, contrary to rumor, become a sports bar.
Following the launch of an online petition claiming that the historic bar — which closed in 2007 after 81 years in business — would “no longer operate as a speakeasy, but more closely to a sports bar” when it reopens, its operator, Jim Miller, told DNAinfo that “We at Chumley’s have absolutely no intention of trying to become a sports bar or anything of the like. … We are in the process of restoring one of the city’s oldest and most beloved speakeasies. A place that people from all over this city, this country, and other parts of the world come to visit and enjoy. Why would we ever tamper with that?”
The Bedford Street bar has been undergoing massive renovations since the chimney in its dining room collapsed. Apparently the renovations have irked some of its neighbors as much as the specter of a sports bar: According to one petition signer, “Chumley’s has been driving the neighborhood crazy with their loud, constant heavy construction that has dragged on for years. I can’t tell you how little sleep I’ve had due to their constant beeping, sawing, diesel-motor-running, slamming, power-tool-wielding, and so on. They have shown no consideration for their neighbors whatsoever.” Laissez les bon temps rouler!
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on April 19, 2011