The owner of beloved Gowanus dive Canal Bar, Louis F. Turco, died this past Sunday, July 30, in Culver Lake, New Jersey. He was 53.
It’s a sad day for Brooklyn – bars like Canal Bar, established by Louie in 2005, do not come and go like other businesses. They’re holdouts, micro-communities whose reach and love expands beyond the free popcorn machine, beyond the bar itself, out into the neighborhood. May Canal Bar go on, even now that Louie is gone.
According to Louie’s brother-in-law’s obituary of him, Louie was born in Brooklyn, raised in Staten Island, and opened Canal Bar after graduating from Quinnipiac College. “A favorite local dive bar where ‘everyone knew your name’, and your dogs!” the obituary reads, “Louis was a true New Yorker.” A trivia buff, crossword puzzle enthusiast and avid fundraiser, Louie, “had the biggest heart and his unique wit always left a smile on our faces!” Canal Bar has long been known as a Chicago Bears bar, and Louie also closely followed the Yankees, Rangers and Giants. “A beautiful soul that left us much too soon,” the obit closes.
Memorial donations are being accepted at Badass Brooklyn Animal Rescue (419 McDonald Ave., Box 180523, Brooklyn NY, 11218) as well as at the Cancer Research Institute (55 Broadway, New York NY, 10006). As well, in celebration of Louie’s life, and the bar, Canal Bar (270 3rd Ave.) will be hosting an all day and night affair on August 19. Condolences can be offered online here.
Rest in peace, Louie.