Bill’s Gay Nineties Restaurant and Piano Bar, an 88-year-old bar that first opened during Prohibition, shut down for good last Sunday at 3 a.m.
According to Diner’s Journal, there was a mayoral proclamation posted above the bar, proclaiming Saturday “Bill’s Gay Nineties Day,” but even that couldn’t lessen the somber mood at Bill’s on its last night of service. “It’s a tough day,” Barbara Bart Olmsted, the bar’s owner, told the Times. “We’re emotionally drained. There are a lot of tears tonight.” Bill’s was slated to close after Olmsted lost her lease on the bar’s three floors of a townhouse dating to the 1850s. Back in November, theNew York Post reported that Waverly Inn chef John DeLucie was eyeing the space for a new tavern, but there’s no word yet on whether that has turned into a real project. Meanwhile, Olmsted is hoping to reopen Bill’s at some other location in the neighborhood.