Bikini Bar Tragedy

This is very sad news. Bikini Bar‘s Stuart Smith died after falling from the roof of 148 Duane on Sunday morning. DNAinfo has what’s known at this time.

I didn’t know Stuart well, but in the time I did spend with him—I had a birthday party at Bikini Bar a couple of years ago—I found him to be truly lovely. The party was wonderful, in no small part because of the care that Stuart and his wife, Aileen Oser, spent on it. I’ll never forget when I asked Stuart who made the coconut birthday cake, and he said he did. I shouldn’t have been surprised, given that he was clearly a man of many talents—he was also a diver for the Navy and an ace restorer of furniture, to name what were likely just two aspects of his life.

The sense that he was a neighborhood fixture was ratified by reader Liv Derose, who emailed me this morning: “I live on Reade Street and I had many parties at the Bikini Bar in the last five years. I had the privilege of getting to know Stuart and Aileen. I am so saddened by this news and I believe they were just one of the many things that made Tribeca such a unique and one of a kind place. After spending a few minutes with both of them, anyone would be able to see they were soul mates which makes this news so heartbreaking.”

My condolences to Aileen and to all the people who knew him well.



  1. This is really sad. He was a truly unique man. I had the pleasure of meeting him briefly when he helped me design a surf board. While we designed the board our conversations always drifted to a thousand different topics i.e. economy, traveling, antiques, food, the cosmos, the mayan calendar and everything else. He was far more interesting to talk to then the typical self indulged materialistic New Yorker. I always felt bad cause he was always busy with his shop and I felt like my ramblings kept him from his job. I wish I had more chances to talk with him learn from all of his interests. He was a true renaissance man and just a cool dude. My deepest condolences to his wife.

  2. Stuart was a very special person. He was brilliant (a true intellectual), kind, creative, involved with ideas and passionate about everything he did–whether it was cooking, refinishing furniture or just about anything. You could sit at his bar, which I did only one or two times and drink the best coffee and eat muffins home-made by him while engaging in meaningful conversation. He and his wife, Aileen were the best caterers you could find anywhere–doing it with such originality. I thought he was absolutely wonderful and I’m so glad I knew him. My heart is very heavy for his entire family.

  3. We would talk of surfing,and shaping and I would always try to get him to my place on Long Beach island,nj which he loved to surf. Madator was there and laughed about the boards he would have made by them. Knock off of famous and rare” guns”, the rich only wished they could get their hands on,but had to settle for a copy.When we talked of the North Shore something special happen. I brought my son in . He was going to u of Hawaii at the time and Aileen would chime in that she also went there. Over the last few years we have lost many special people who made Tribeca their home too soon before their time .Stu will be missed. Aileen,I saw you today and you are the bravest and the strongest.Any thing,dont hesitate to reach out to Madeline and I. Dennis

  4. This is such a sad tragedy. I always walk by bikini bar and have wanted to go in and meet the proprietors, Im sad I didnt get to meet Stuart. Does anyone know the hours of this place? It never seems to be open.

  5. I said hello to Stuart Saturday afternoon as I have for the past 25 years he has been walking by the front of the salon. Ivy and I were so sad and upset when we heard the tragic news about Stuart. He was a decent man and will be missed by our entire community. Our hearts and thoughts are with Stuarts wife Aileen and their family .

  6. My sincere condolences.
    Apologies for contacting you during these sad times.
    My mother is Violaine Marguerite Sophia OESER from Germany.
    Your father, Ian F Oser is my uncle.
    We are coming over to the States in November to Hawaii and were wondering wether it would be possible to see you guys.

  7. A mutual friend of Ian O’Mally, I only met Stewart once at Ulysses Bar but I remember a great conversation of his adventures in the deep, wild blue yonder of the oceans around the World. It was fascinating stuff. He was particular interested in a film project about under water submersible objects or USO’s that a screen writer friend of mine was writing about and I was attempting to get both these guys together.

    A man of warm personality yet unparalleled courage who has taken his final journey into the unknown. You will remain in all our thoughts for a long, long time to come Stewart and I will tip my next one in honor of you.