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.

NEWS, OPEN/CLOSED | 8 comments | permalink
    1. Andrew says:

      If you guys are out there and reading this PLEASE move to the West 90s.

      You would kill it up here and rents much cheaper!

    2. Jeff Overley says:

      This is of course unfortunate to hear, but along with the Lansky’s news, shows that reverence for old-fashioned restaurants and bars is skin-deep. People like beer and sandwiches, but fewer and fewer are drinking middling beer in dive bars, and fewer and fewer are interested in consuming a pound of average-quality cold cuts in one sitting. These places had character, but the quality didn’t reflect modern tastes.

    3. Liz says:

      It is sad to see another Upper West Side institution close.

      Each one that closes is another chip off the unique charm and character of the Upper West Side. When I moved to the UWS 18 years ago one of the things that attracted me to this area was the fact that it had a real neighborhood feel.

      There were so many wonderful mom and pop shops and ethnic restaurants. Not any more.
      Welcome to the new mall of America on the Upper West Side. I guess if its any consolation, at least it’s got going to be another bank or Duane Reade.

    4. Crawford says:

      I don’t really understand the sentiments.

      In 2013, the UWS is one of the wealthiest, most expensive urban neighborhoods on the planet. There are very few places, anywhere, in the U.S. or globally, with comparable pricing.

      Given these facts, why is it surprising that rents are high, and grittier older businesses are being replaced with upscale new ones? If anything, it would be more newsworthy if these old businesses weren’t replaced.

      • N says:

        I agree. Landlords have a right to ask what they want for rents and the market will tell them if they are too high or too low. The landlord is not in the business of supporting its tenants, its in the business of making the most money it can from rents. Besides, the place was mostly empty, certainly compared to most of the other bars/resturants in the area.

    5. Leslie says:

      Upper west side of the past has now become a memory of what a neighborhood was. It is a thing ofthe past. How unfortunate. As an original westsidet. Too bad for us originals right

    6. Charlie Campbell says:

      New location announcement for The Emerald Inn !
      250 west 72nd Street between west end and broadway
      Grand opening hopefully June 1