Abbey Pub to Close After 49 Years

Abbey Pub at 237 West 105th Street plans to close its doors for good on April 30, after being open since 1969. The unpretentious neighborhood bar, open from noon to 4 a.m., called itself the “Cheers of the Upper West Side.”

The owner Paul announced the closing on Facebook on Monday:

Friends and Family of The Abbey Pub,
I am sorry to say that we have lost our battle with the economic times, the city, and the landlord. Unfortunately our last day will be Monday the 30th of April. We want to thank everyone for all the years of fun. It has been a journey that has meant the world to us. Please come in and see us one more time this week. I love you all. Thank you, Paul

Without going into specifics, Paul told us they were closing because of “the landlord and the city.”

“We love being here and we’re going to miss everyone,” he said.

The club had been closed by the city for about a month a few years ago, but had seemed to bounce back afterwards.

The announcement comes days after McAleer’s Pub announced it would close after 65 years on Amsterdam Avenue and 81st street.

The Abbey is “a steady, Eddie go-to low-key place,” wrote Laura Hoffman Hanrahan, who broke the news to us. “Good pub grub, sports, friendly crew. Super Bowl pools, and lots of regulars…really, what’s a neighborhood coming to when it starts losing its pubs??!!”

The Abbey has been a part of our life for the last 5 years,” wrote Joe Urso on Facebook. “If you are able to find a new location, please let us all know. Our lives will not be the same without the Abbey.

FOOD, NEWS, OPEN/CLOSED | 51 comments | permalink
    1. S says:

      Wasn’t McAleers coming back as Franks?

    2. Uptown says:

      Can someone tell us all how Greg Bishop is still employed at the so-called Small Business Service Commissioner? SBS is a joke on so many levels. Deblasio needs to wake-up and take a stroll north and see all the empty store fronts. His view from the SUV daily to the Park Slope gym is unacceptable.

    3. Rick says:

      Making space for one more Chinese restaurant I bet

      • Ray Bergen says:

        There’s already a Chinese restaurant right next door, Szechuan Garden. A shame about the Abbey Pub, though

    4. dannyboy says:

      When I lived on WEA, between 103-102 I loved going to Abbey Pub.

      • manhattan mark says:

        When I lived on WEA and 105th street the space that Abby pub occuped for all these years was a Democratic politcal organization that fought for rent control which helped stabalize the upperwestside and other middle class neighborhoods. For
        all you folks that want good food and a drink or two go accross
        the street to Henrey’s, I’m meeting three friends there tomorrow for lunch. We all grew up in the neighborhood and we keep coming back to meet for lunch.

    5. Joe Rappaport says:

      This is a real loss for our neighborhood. There are proposals, mostly ignored by the City Council and the mayor, to allow for dispute resolution for commercial tenants, as is done elsewhere. Without something that protects businesses, we’ll just have a characterless city full of chains and cookie-cutter establishments.

      • Sherman says:

        This pub has been in business for 49 years. That’s a hekuva run for a small business.

        Times change and people’s tastes change. The neighborhood is more upscale now. Irish pubs aren’t as popular with educated professionals as they might have been with working class folks a few years ago.

        Not everything can be blamed on mysterious greedy landlords and the city shouldn’t be propping up failing businesses.

        • vc says:

          So you’re saying that only poor people enjoy pubs? You are unfortunately are not a very educated person. Enjoy hanging out in the next Duane Reade or possibly a new Popeye’s Chicken.

          • Sherman says:

            “You are unfortunately are not a very educated person”.

            I guess I’m not as educated as you.

          • UWS_lifer says:

            WAIT!!! Seriously, did you hear something about a Popeye’s Chicken coming to the neighborhood?? Now that would be epic.

            Forget Trader Joe’s…..I want fried chicken!!!!

        • Grb says:

          Take a walk on Broadway and see the empty stores. It isn’t a question of more expensive establishments pushing out others. There are Empty Spaces. No one in their right mind would find this neighborhood appealing at the moment. Trash strewn sidewalks in front of empty storefronts under abandoned scaffolding. Not expensive restaurants. Take a look. See what you think.

        • UWS Bartender says:

          Sherman…you always have somethimg to say…but usually the same line of crap spread around some different way. Maybe you should try going to a Pub once in awhile, you might learn a thing or two about people. It certainly has nothinf to do with your definition of class. The first drink I ever had in the city was at a glorious Irish Pub called McGlades on Columbus Ave, in the 60’s, near ABC. Yes, the working man came in for a drink, but so did the news men from ABC. While sitting at the bar that night I met Norman Mailer and Jimmy Breslin. They bought me a pint. They regaled the bar with stories of all the great boxing matches they had seen. Every pub and business that gets put out of business by greedy landlords is just another nail in the coffin of the City that never sleeps.

          • Sherman says:

            Since you’re so nostalgic for old time bars maybe you should invest in commercial real estate and lease your space to a bar at below market rent.

        • ws says:

          People are generally healthier too. Alcohol and tobacco consumption is way down in the US.

    6. Bloomingdaler says:

      Truly Laura – – – when the pubs start to close, what’s happening to a neighborhood?

      Loved this place since my first time there – in HIGH SCHOOL (many many years ago) after catching a Fellini double feature at the Olympia Theater (remember THAT?)

      Hate to say my home-town is going down the tubes (especially considering the delays down there) but it clearly is.

      I mean, it’s not that things don’t or shouldn’t change – they always do – and 49 years was a helluva run for any small business, but I don’t think things are changing for the better. It’s getting tougher and tougher to endure life in NYC. Used to be fun, now it’s turning into a non-stop ordeal.

      • examplesplease says:

        Just curious if you could be more specific about what is so tough to endure? I’m an UWS resident and love every second of it.

      • dannyboy says:

        “Used to be fun, now it’s turning into a non-stop ordeal.”

        make that “deal”

    7. Joi Baldwin says:

      Landlords, thy name is greed.
      City, thy name is . . . (fill in your own).

    8. Mark Moore says:

      Sorry, I just don’t go out and drink like I used to.

      • dannyboy says:

        Dear Friendlier Mark (Moore),

        Peaked in college. Was still on my game in grad school at Columbia when we “lunched” at The Abbey.

    9. Charles says:

      This city is becoming such a grotesquely boring dystopia. FFS.

      • ws says:

        The reality: it was a dystopia and is now a utopia. Crime is down 75%, teen pregnancy, fire deaths, pedestrian deaths are all at generational lows. The crack and aids epidemics waned. There is generally race harmony and union peace. The air is cleaner. Life is coming back to the Hudson River. The good old days in actual provable fact sucked amigo. The only things better were my (and your) memory, body and hair.

    10. Kathleen says:

      S.O.S. Yet another victim of a greedy landlord. When will this destruction of our neighborhoods cease – and how can citizens be pro-active?

    11. Ellen says:

      I just researched the landlord. Does anyone know about this: http://roecorp.com/project_05.html
      More at: http://roecorp.com/project_history.html

      this looks much bigger than just the Abbey

      • mitch says:

        Yes — the buildings will be raised and turned into condos. The problem is the building next door on Broadway may be added to the project, which would shut down the Silver Moon Bakery.

        These developers are known for using the eb-5 immigration benefit to fund their projects (gives Green Cards to rich foreigners and their families who invest in US projects). See http://www.nyifund.com/about_nyif.php

      • Andrew says:

        So we’re going to lose Szechuan Garden too?! Ugh.

    12. Robert Weinberg says:

      First Canons/Tara Hill then McAlear‘s and Coogans in Washington Heights Now the Abbey.

      A very sad day for New York and especially the west side I have been going to the Abbey since the late 1970s and it definitely has earned it reputation as the “Cheers” of the Westside

      Paul, the owner, has a personality as big as Manhattan and the staff from the main chef Richard to the wait staff have always been welcoming and responsive

      With sad news like this I might want to go and drink to drown sorrows but there’s no place left to go

      Sad sad sad

      • dannyboy says:

        Coogan’s landlord is Columbia Presbyterian Hospital; they had a chance. ROE will develop some “limited edition residences” for less than 10 limited edition residents.

    13. M says:

      Don’t worry, Applebee’s will be coming soon!!

    14. Sean says:

      The UWS is no longer that kind of a neighborhood. Forty years ago there were bars and clubs with drunks running around at all hours peeing on everything. Today it’s dogs. The streets were busy too. Now it’s so quiet after 10pm that you swear you live in Connecticut.

    15. VC says:

      This is very sad news. There should be protection in place to shelter small business like this from being forced to close because of the rents and the city bureaucracy. I have paid a ton of money to live in NYC, because the the charming small pubs, family restaurants, and diverse culture. The charm of NYC isn’t here any longer. Sick of rip off Duane Reade/ Walgreen’s monopolizing our whole city in addition to a new bank on every corner. So sorry Paul. I guess we only have drug stores, banks and food franchises to go to these days.

      • Woody says:

        You see only banks and drugstores because it fits with your frustration that the neighborhood is evolving like it evolved before and before and before. Like all the other sheep, you will continue to recite that mantra while ignoring that many people benefit from and appreciate the changes.

    16. George B Gentle says:

      Exceedingly sad news. Over 45 years of wonderful memories and good cheer , not to mention that I met my late wife Phyllis at the Abbey. Food always satisfying, grog superb, and the ambiance- the ambiance-matchless.
      No doubt, another landlord has insured his corner of the Circle of Hell reserved for his or her ilk!
      Best wishes to Paul and the staff.

    17. 9d8b7988045e4953a882 says:

      Sad news indeed. Always good drinks and cheer at the Abbey. All the old places are disappearing. Also miss Cannon’s Pub, which closed in 2004. Will try to get to Abbey for the last call.

    18. John says:

      I’m still waiting for my drink Paul.

    19. John says:

      I’m still waiting for my drink Paul

    20. mikey says:

      Without going into specifics, Paul told us they were closing because of “the landlord and the city.” RANT:

    21. THEY’RE TAKING PARADISE, SO WHO GIVES A FUCK WHAT THEY’RE PUTTING UP

      In the winter of 1986 I ditched the sublet I was month-to-monthing in Chelsea and rented apartment 3FE at 225 West 105th St. It took me about a month before I could tell the difference between a domino being slammed on to a table and a gunshot, and then it took me several more months before I could claim membership in the West 105th Coalition, joining Robin, Maggie, Jason, John, Alexis and Apollo as a full patch holder, along with a rotating cast of characters fortunate enough to get a pad in Kamada Towers. I knew the neighborhood reasonably well having lived at 112th and R.S.D. 2 years earlier, and because proximity back then was often as important as ambience when it came to my preference in bars, I was already more than familiar with Cannon’s, The Marlin and The West End. But then, the Gods above saw fit to bestow upon me an apartment within crawling distance of a genuine watering hole, The Abbey Pub. For the first few months I reveled in the bliss of being able to shuffle home before hurling or passing out, so it wasn’t until the weather got warm that I finally decided to wander around and see if there was anything else of interest other than The Abbey and Napoli Pizza. Looking back now, if I’d only stayed on the block, everything would have been fine, but instead I trudged 2 more blocks and got sucked into the abyss of The Night Cafe, after which everything until 1992 is a blur of booze, drugs and pool. When the fog finally cleared, The Night Cafe was gone, Paul had bought The Abbey and I was living in a series of places devoid of winter. As the years and my tan progressed, I gradually came to re appreciate and then fully embrace The Abbey as the one place I knew I could come home to and instantly feel…at home.

      Now The Abbey is closing, suddenly, like a sucker punch from the family member that NYC has been to me every day of my life. I can already feel the welt growing on my soul, certain that this one’s gonna hurt for a while. And so soon after Paul finally (sort of) fixed the door in the men’s room. I had a feeling when I realized that the latch worked for the first time in…uh…well, ever, that such an attempt at gentrification might be a harbinger of acquiescence in the face of the pub’s lifetime stalwart indignation at the prospect of trying to suit those few who hadn’t already found it a perfect fit.

      Off the avenue, below the street and above reproach, now to be cast asunder by flourishing greed from the only family it’s ever known, the city that spawned it and the patrons and staff who lovingly nurtured it.

      Where shall I go in my beloved city now that it has gone behind my back to financially raze my home away from home? One thing I know for sure is that I already hate whatever will be there the next time I come around, and though that sounds like a petulance I should have discarded long ago, so be it. If acceptance of change is the signature of growing up, I submit that change such as will happen at (or around) 4 a.m. May 1, 2018 on West 105th is all the incitement I need to never fully embrace adulthood.

      Thank You Paul, and everyone else who poured one, and then one more for me.

    22. Andrew says:

      Well that is just as crushing as it gets. I tend to say “It’s the Abbey, so it must be Friday.”

      Had our own sort of wedding celebration here. Reunited with friends after 30 years here. Felt like family—always a glowing reception from Paul.

      Simply irreplaceable. Nothing is sacred in this economy….

    23. Donna CY says:

      totally pathetic that this pub has to close because of the city and stupidly high rent costs. just another way in which this city has become Mall-ified.

      welcome all you Mall dwellers– to bad you have ruined that which makes this City great.

    24. BMAC says:

      My late uncle opened the Abbey, building many of the fixtures himself. A great loss.