Last call at Ward III

Another blow. Ward III, the cozy neighborhood bar on Reade that evoked a bit of local history, will serve its last cocktail on Saturday, the latest in a series of closings that really sting. They will be missed.

The bar opened 11 years ago in the former QDT space in summer 2009, won accolades over the years from across the city and survived a nearly two-year hiatus while the building was renovated. But the pandemic was just too much.

“The outside was wonderful, but with four tables, you are just not going to make any money,” said Kenny McCoy, one of the three owners. (The bar’s name was partly an ode to the three owner bartenders, plus a nod to the address at 111 Reade, and a historical reference to the border of Ward 3.)

In my mind Ward III was a neighborhood bar, but their bread & butter came from happy hour sales to office workers from Spotify, Conde Nast, Citi, etc. And, Kenny noted, that business is not returning for at least a year. “I hate to sound negative, but I have friends that work at all those places, and they are not coming back till next summer at the earliest. It’s going to change the face of small business and of neighborhoods.”

Actually, he sounded anything but negative to me, despite the fact that their other bar, Rum House, is in the Theater District. He’s happy for neighborhood spots that are doing well thanks to more ample curbside spaces, and the decision for them was clear. They have a great relationship with their landlord, so that was not the root of the problem. They just couldn’t make it work.

“We had a great run,” he said. “And now we will just hang in, like everybody else.”

 

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3 Comments

  1. Ward III closing is sad, any business closing these days is sad, for sure. But, as a resident of Reade Street, I have to say that they’ve been a an absolutely terrible neighbor through the Covid reopening. Almost every morning after they’ve been open, I find broken glass, food, trash all over the street. Actually just this morning there were piles of mussel shells all down the street as well as broken glass. Over the summer, we would have to cross the street to the other side because of all the broken glass and my kids being in sandals. I’m sorry they are closing. I’m sorry to lose another neighborhood staple, but they haven’t been the best neighbor through all this.

  2. The problem with the broken glass and trash may not be the bar’s fault. There has been a insurgency of vagrants and transients in the neighborhood that no one seems to be doing anything about. These people have the run of the area after businesses close up. They may be the cause for trash being ripped open and thrown about.I’ve been accosted by a few over the last few weeks.

    Sad to see Ward III go.

  3. So sad to lose this place. Hope these guys open something up in this neighborhood in the future!

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