Goodbye Liberty Street

I was hardly a regular; I live too far away and prefer to drink at home anyway. But Liberty Street was my favorite bar and tonight’s its last night. It’s closing for good.

The bartender said that business just hasn’t come back to pre-pandemic levels, and the owner doesn’t see when it will recover. Better to move on and cut the losses now.

I couldn’t make it tonight, but I could last night after work, and so I did. I photographed the barroom with my iPhone.

Goodbye Liberty Street

Here’s my last Manhattan at Liberty Street, half consumed.

Last Manhattan at Liberty Street

Liberty Street had an enormous selection of whiskeys, mostly bourbons but some Scotches. It was fun to go in and have neat pours of whiskeys I’d never heard of before and probably could never find at the liquor store. I usually met my brother there. Our traditional seats were at the end of the bar. He and I will have to find another favorite place now.

Here is a selection of other photographs I’ve made of Liberty Street over the years.

At the bar
Canon TLb, 50mm f/1.8 Canon FD S.C., Kodak Gold 200, 2015
Liberty Street
Canon TLb, 50mm f/1.8 Canon FD S.C., Kodak Gold 200, 2015
Liberty Street
Kodak Pony 135 Model B, Agfa Vista 200, 2018
Liberty Street
Yashica-12, Ilford FP4 Plus, L110, Dilution B, 2021
Liberty Street
Olympus XA2, Kodak ProImage 100, 2021


22 responses to “Goodbye Liberty Street”

  1. Adilson Brilhante Avatar
    Adilson Brilhante

    Aos poucos o passado, as lembranças, as referências do que constituiu as nossas vidas vão se apagando.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Tão verdade.

  2. Doug Anderson Avatar

    That’s sad. I still have fond memories of cold drafts with my friend Junior at the Willowbrook package store, bar, and two lane hand-set bowling alley. Lost to gentrification decades ago.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      All things must pass. It’s just sad for a while after they do.

  3. Andy Umbo Avatar
    Andy Umbo

    I never went into Liberty Street, passed by it a few times. Like you, too far away from where I lived to be a destination (not with the “Friendly” so near). Looks like a nice place, tho, and of course as a Manhattan aficionado, if they made a good one then I missed out, ’cause I had a lot of bad ones in Indy.

    Sadly, I don’t think we’ve seen the last of this. Right this morning the local news had a story about one of the oldest “new coffee era” coffee houses closing in the Eastside / Brady Street district in Milwaukee. People don’t remember this, but the new era of coffee houses really only tracks back to the 1990’s, and Milwaukee was one of those cities that Starbucks had NOT targeted to move into, so there was a huge rise in local coffee bean roasters and cafe’s, since they weren’t being over-run by the Starbucks juggernaut. This coffee shop was one of the first locally, gone now…

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      You could ask for any bourbon or rye you wanted, plus any of a range of bitters they had. My brother had one with half peach bitters!

      Places come and places go. It’s just sad when a favorite goes.

  4. J P Avatar

    I never got there, but am sorry to see a favored place of yours go away.

    I don’t dare get too attached to a bar because I will never provide enough business to be of much help in keeping it around.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Right there with you – I’m not a regular bar-goer. It’s unfortunate that I became attached to this one.

  5. Khürt Williams Avatar

    I found a place like that; a place that I can return to every week and were everybody knows my name. Brick Farm Tavern.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar


  6. brineb58 Avatar

    So sad when favorites go away … I hadn’t been in NYC for well over a year because of the pandemic, but in June i went for the first time and was shocked that so many of my faves were gone!!!

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      That’s a shame!

  7. brandib1977 Avatar

    I’m sorry you’re losing this favorite place but I’m also sad for the loss in general. It looks like it has great atmosphere and there’s a real shortage of places with character in this homogenized world of ours.

    I also fear it’s part of a bigger trend that is positively terrifying. Owning a small business is hard enough without navigating a pandemic that simply won’t go away.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I sometimes wonder if the pandemic is going to throw us into a full economic depression.

      1. brandib1977 Avatar

        We are certainly teetering. This winter is going to be terrible and will be the true test.

  8. Peggy Avatar

    This is what I imagine all bars in America to look like. This and cheers of course.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      American bars really do vary. Their styles are all over the map!

  9. James M Lucas Avatar
    James M Lucas

    Nice bar, but it’s days were probably numbered even before the pandemic. I was down on Mass Ave in August during the Fringe Theatre festival. Bottleworks just was sucking almost everybody’s business up. The food court there was packed. I ended up eating at Rooster’s because there was nobody there. Mimi’s Blueballs was also dead. At that time of day they would have been busy. As an aside, back when it opened people were pissed that Liberty Street opened there because they forced Yat’s out of that space and farther away at the other end of Mass Ave. It will be interesting to see what goes in there. The Avenue is certainly changing..

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      That’s a good perspective. I hadn’t considered the impact of Bottleworks. I haven’t been yet.

      I had forgotten all about Liberty Street forcing out Yats.

  10. Steve Mitchell Avatar

    No bar would survive on my regular patronage! I brew my own beer, and am more likely to visit a bar when traveling, which is not really a happening thing at the moment. I have thought since this started that we are seeing the world change before our eyes, but may not understand the changes for some time, as it is very difficult to predict the consequences of each change in the way we live. Who would have thought there would be a shipping crisis, or that USPS would suspend postage to countries like ours??? More to come I suspect…

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Say what now? USPS doesn’t ship to NZ anymore? I hadn’t heard. That’s unbelievable!

      1. Steve Mitchell Avatar

        NZ, Australia, 21 countries in all….these are truly unprecedented times!

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