Maxwell’s is closing permanently

Alex Tortolani — one of the owners of Maxwell’s on Reade, wrote to say that they have turned the keys over to the landlord. This is a real loss, since he and his partners had preserved a lovely piece of old Tribeca for all of us to enjoy. And for the simple fact that it was just a great bar.

“We had a good 10-year run down there, but couldn’t figure out a way to make it work in this climate,” Tortolani said. “Our landlord is a good guy, but we couldn’t get to an agreement in order to move forward so we thought it best to end things amicably.”

He continued: “59 Reade Street is a special place with a lot of great memories for me and my family. I look forward to visiting whoever takes it over next.”

The restaurant closed in March along with everyone else, but then was vandalized during the couple days of looting in June, dealing another blow.

Tortolani and Mike Casey, a retired firefighter at Ladder 1 on Duane, opened this location in 2011. The pair also owns Tavern 29 on Park Avenue; and Tortolani has a second Maxwell’s on 111th and Fifth.

The pair named this after the original owner of the space in the 1930s – John Maxwell – and they learned then that the building was built in 1896 as a five-story boot-and-shoe factory. After a fire, it was just one story. Then of course it was the City Hall mainstay Spaghetti Western till the new owners came along and tried to touch nothing.

“Our contractor said, ‘I’m not touching the bar,’” Tortolani said at the time, although it did end up getting sanded and polished. “And you can’t get smoky mirrors like these anymore, because people aren’t allowed to smoke in bars.” The booths and center partition are also intact.