Some very sad news to report: after 70 years serving beer to generations of Upper West Siders in a comfortable dark space, Emerald Inn on Columbus Avenue between 69th and 70th streets is likely to close in the next few months. The unpretentious bar now has some very tony neighbors, including high-end retailers like Helmut Lang and Club Monaco, and rents have escalated. It barely escaped closing a few years back after the landlord attempted to raise the rent to more than double what the owners had been paying.

“It’s looking pretty grim,” said Ben, a bartender at Emerald Inn who noted that the landlord has already been showing the space to other prospective tenants.

“Try finding another bar on the Upper West Side that’s been around for 70 years, and owned by the same family.”

The lease is up on May 1. A bartender recently told some regulars it would close in April.

It’s already shaping up to be a tough year for Upper West Side closings, with the likely shuttering of Big Nick’s Burger & Pizza Joint on 77th Street and Broadway.

Thanks to Lauren for the tip. Photo by flickr4jazz.

NEWS | 9 comments | permalink
    1. Andrew says:

      Huge bummer! I used to love that place when I lived on 70th.

      Come move up to the 90s. It’s cheaper and we would love to have you!

    2. BINESS MAN says:


    3. Amy says:

      Sad. I remember that place from when I was staying with friends on that block. Always loved it.

    4. More Banks says:

      Hopefully they’ll replace it with a Citibank or Bank of America because there aren’t any within a two block radius.

    5. Gray says:

      Please DO come to the 90s! We are desperate for a great local bar!

    6. PJ says:

      ooooh I wonder what will move in there. A starbucks? A generic chain shopping store? An overpriced frozen yogurt shop? The possibilities are endless!

    7. MDW says:

      Will have to go back several times before they close to sit in the lovely corner table and have their superlative food… Bangers n Mash once with a Guinness and then again for steak or lamb.
      This is a shame. I’ve not gone enough but its always been on my radar. UWS is loosing a lot of character with such departures. I’d call it “tragic” except that would inspire people to start listing true tragedies and who needs such reminders? Still… its tragic in its unique way. The mellow sounds (Van Morrison, etc.) will be hard to rediscover elsewhere in this age of noise.

    8. Liz says:

      It is really sad to see yet another of the iconic venues on the Upper West Side fall by the way side.

      One of the things that has made living on the Upper West Side so attractive is the mix of mom and pop shops and restaurants that make the area so unique.

      Unfortunately with the invasion of high rent apartments, banks and big chain stores the Upper West Side will soon be as boring as a strip mall in New Jersey. Ouch!!

      Ten to twenty years ago there were unique, distinct neighborhoods in New York City that each had their own “character”. Now everything is so homogenized. It’s like Little Italy. There is so little left of Little Italy that if you walk around in that area and blink you’ve missed it.

      No one denies that landlords have a right to make a profit; but, there has to be a limit.
      They are destroying the very thing that has drawn people to want to live on the Upper West Side.

      It’s a shame. There used to be several really great delis and great pizza places along Broadway, Columbus and Amsterdam Avenues. They are all gone.

      Starbucks needs to extend beyond just offering coffee to expand its profit margin.
      The Starbucks in Seattle serve alcoholic beverages. Maybe Starbucks should consider serving pizza and/or hot food and adult beverages at the next branch it opens on the Upper West Side.

    9. JC Frank says:

      And who knew that park of The Apartment was filmed there?