The Emerald Inn, a dive bar that has lasted for 70 years at 205 Columbus Avenue (69th street), is expected to close once its lease runs out on May 1. Its rumored replacement says all you need to know about Columbus Avenue circa 2013: leather and women’s clothing retailer Kate Spade.
A bartender told our tipster Lindsay Anne Deak this week that Kate Spade will be opening a new store in the space. It was the second time we’ve heard the news, after a bartender told us earlier this month that “guys in suits” had been sizing up the Emerald Inn for new tenants. We haven’t heard back from the Kate Spade corporate office, but an em0loyee at one of their stores said she had heard something about an upcoming Upper West Side opening.
Update: a third source has confirmed the Kate Spade news.
Helmut Lang, Variazioni and other clothing stores have begun to dominate that section of Columbus Avenue, leaving an historic dive bar like Emerald Inn feeling a little out of place. Back when it opened in the early 1940’s, Emerald Inn was right at home, the New York Times noted in a profile a few years ago.
“The Emerald has been an enduring link to the West Side’s raffish past, when Columbus and Amsterdam Avenues were populated by gin mills and where brawls among patrons, enthusiastically mediated by bruiser bartenders, were not unusual.”
The bruiser bartenders are gone. The handbags are here to stay.