By Carol Tannenhauser
For a decade, Hi-Life Bar & Grill, a popular neighborhood spot on the corner of Amsterdam and West 83rd Street, has labored under a sidewalk shed. Earl Geer, Hi-Life’s owner for 32 years, has a great simile for the situation. “Living under a sidewalk shed for 10 years is like wanting to show the world your shiny (neon) smile, but being forced to wear big, ugly metal braces — and the dentist is permanently out to lunch!”
Well, Earl’s long wait is over. On Friday, January 27, at 8 a.m., Hi-Life is getting its braces off! The sidewalk shed is coming down. It will probably take more than a day, and Earl’s a little worried they’ll damage his neon signs in the process, but mostly he’s just thrilled about “getting our corner back,” he said. And he’s planning a celebration.
“In the tradition of an Amish “barn raising,” when neighbors came together, we’ll have a “scaffolding lowering” outside Hi-Life Friday from 5-6 p.m.,” Earl announced. “We’ll be serving complimentary hot toddy’s and thanking our neighbors in person for their support during the decade we’ve been hidden by scaffolding.”
If you want to understand why sheds and scaffolding stay up for so long, read our special report, The Omnipresence of Scaffolding and Its Impact on City Lives; Why and What Is Being Done? And for another recent scaffolding sayonara, read about the unveiling of Joan of Arc School. And look for photographs of a bright and shiny Hi-Life Bar & Grill in WSR soon.