New York City has long been synonymous with speed, but now more than ever the fastest thing happening here is often change in the skyline and the disappearance of local businesses. As one of the most vulnerable targets for rising commercial rents, dive bars are treated by seasoned New Yorkers as ephemeral treasures, relics of a more affordable era. So it comes as no surprise that Hank’s Saloon, Atlantic Ave.’s landmark, flame-clad live music venue and bar, will be developed out of existence next year. While it may not be shocking, though, the news still cuts deep.
Hank’s death knell came by way of a Facebook post by owner Julie Ipcar, who has been holding down Hank’s for 13 years and expressed surprise not over its demise, but that it lasted this long. “We knew it was only a matter of time before we got the news that we would have to close Hank’s and move along,” she wrote, “Alas my friends, it seems that time has come – the developer is ready to build, plans will be filed, and Hank’s Saloon will have to close at the end of next year.”
Before Hank’s was Hank’s, Hank’s was the Doray Tavern, a popular spot for the Mohawk Indian community, the “Skywalker” steelworkers who built much of Manhattan’s skyline in the early 20th century. Their community faded from the neighborhood decades ago, and now Hank’s era too is winding to an end.
As Bedford + Bowery reported, Hank’s was nearly built out nearly a decade ago, in 2008, when developer R&E Brooklyn attempted to construct a seven-story building on the property. The community board wasn’t having it though, and so Hank’s remained.
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