Reade Street Pub has closed

Last night was the last call for Reade Street Pub — the Tribeca staple that has been an operating saloon at that spot since the 1800s. It was a crazy and festive night in the way some wakes can be. The Baraskys own the building too, and sold it all. Its next iteration could be a seven-story (or so) building.

Brian Barasky told the story last night of how he first came to own the bar. He was in the neighborhood for the 1996 ticker tape parade for the Yankees — they had just won the World Series over the Braves. Brian stopped in at what was then McGovern’s to have a beer. By the time he had finished his beer, he had told McGovern he wanted to buy the joint. McGovern assumed Brian was Irish Catholic, and let’s just say Brian did nothing to dispel that assumption, especially after a few choice words about his Jewish competition. (Brian is Jewish too.) Brian’s father, Bruce, bought the building in 1997 for $500k; Charles and Thomas McGovern had purchased it in 1969 from Mary King; the first saloon in that space opened in 1878.

Four nights after 9/11, Brian opened the doors of the bar, serving firefighters coming off the pile whatever they wanted — and needed — till closing hours at 4 a.m.

And in the 26 years he operated the pub, Brian married and had three kids, all while living above the store. The family eventually moved to New Jersey and after this year that was, it seemed like a good time for him to go too. It’s been a good run.

He has plans to open a place in Colts Neck in Jersey. Someone suggested calling it Reade On.

 

14 Comments

  1. Now this is true Tribeca!! Great bar great times there! Wishing him all the best! Hopefully whoever bought it will open something for the community also! I don’t think they can do anything to the building.

  2. This is devastating

  3. That’s too bad. I walked by early evening last night and knew something extra festive was going on.

  4. As now a former bartender, I’m devastated. The employees are all in disbelief. This was our second home. We will miss this place dearly and wish Brian and family all the best.

  5. Good luck Brian & Fam! We moved out of NY 5 years ago but RSP was a staple of my decade in NY. What a place.

    You selling anything from the inside?

  6. Does anyone have any information about the late-night parties that have been taking place on the roof deck at 111 Reade Street? The one on May 15 went until 4 a.m. the next day and was accompanied by very loud music. It looks as if they advertise the parties on line and then impose a cover charge and sell alcohol inside. I’m doubtful that the large number of people in attendance complies with fire code requirements, and the garbage that they leave on the sidewalk is an eyesore.

    I complained to some passing police officers when I was walking my dog at about 1:30 a.m., and they said that they would look into it, which wouldn’t have taken much effort since they were only about a half block away. They took off up Hudson never to be seen again. These parties are illegal in a number of respects, and the community should take steps to shut them down.

    • One must keep calling 311 and registering complaints until it looks bad on the 1st Precinct stats. Otherwise they will do nothing. For example, here is the 311 report online:

      “The Police Department responded to the complaint but officers were unable to gain entry into the premises.”

      SR Number
      311-06277957

      Updated On
      5/16/2021 2:22 AM

      Date Reported
      5/16/2021 1:55 AM

      Date Closed
      5/16/2021 2:22 AM

      Problem
      Noise – Residential

      Problem Detail
      Loud Music/Party

      Additional Details

      SR Address
      111 READE STREET, MANHATTAN (NEW YORK), NY, 10013

      Time to Next Update

    • It’s practically impossible to stop these parties until bars, clubs, and concert venues fully reopen – young people will find an outlet to party till 4am, one way or another. Even if you shut one down, they’ll just move the sound & light system to a rooftop nearby, and the crowd will swarm there to continue the party.

  7. THIS IS DEVASTATING. HOW COULD THIS BE? WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO TRIBECA? SO SO SO SAD

  8. Devastating news!!

  9. Over time, the humblest taverns become the most precious. Certainly here. When Hurricane Sandy snuffed the neighborhood’s electricity, there was one outpost of conviviality: the Reade Street Pub. Illuminated by candles. You half expected Tribecan James Fenimore Cooper to walk in. The bartenders poured their last booze into plastic cups before the ice cubes melted. Thank you for your service!

  10. A sad surprise came last Thursday when I heard that the Reade Street Pub & Kitchen had been sold and that day would be its final day in business.
    Owner Brian Barasky and the staff always made my blues band that played there weekly feel like heroes and put their patrons on a pedestal. That’s what kept and incredible mix of clientele (cops to wall streeters to artists to city workers to hipsters to restaurant workers to working Joe’s, young to old, neighbors to outer boro, red to blue, and of all ethnicities and colors—seriously) loyal, like I’ve never seen in a bar. You’d sit and watch these diverse groups coming in specific waves throughout each night, each week and intermingle with no judgement and with complete kinship. And then watch them all help close up the bar, night after every night. Like the subway, it was incredibly ’democratic’ and a true reflection of the NYC melting pot experiment. Like family, it was more ‘Cheers’ than ‘Cheers’ and filled a need in Tribeca for the last 26 years.
    Katia, Diane, Sebastian, Matt, Bruce, Brian and the rest of the staff, we cannot thank you enough, and with the CDC’s lifting of the mask mandate Thursday, gave us first taste of normalcy on their final encore. Love to you all.

  11. While making it plans for our annual trip to 9-11, I saw that Reade St. had closed. My husband, Kevin, and I are devasted. We would go every year to commemorate the pub that took care of him and his crew while working to restore dial tone to lower Manhattan. Kevin worked in the city for 6 months after the horror that happened right in front of his eyes. The first part of our annual trip started at this bar because we wanted to thank all the first responders that would come in on THE DAY! Bruce cooked burgers and dogs all day for free and buckets were on the bar to collect cash that patrons threw in to pay for all the policemen and firefighters drinks. The workers always harassed my husband that he had a nicer Reade St Pub polo on. He bought it right after 9-11, and everyone who worked there was jealous. I can’t believe for the 20th anniversary we won’t be at this place. The experience will not be the same. But we will be at O’Hara’s for most of the day instead and staying at the world center hotel. We have awesome video from 2 years ago (2020 didn’t happen), of hundreds of firemen singing God Bless America right outside or hotel and O’Hara’s. If you read this and are planning on being there, we will see you and don’t forget to ask to look through the album from 9-11! Thanks again to all the years at Reade St and thanks to all the firemen and policemen for your sacrifices every day.
    Mary and Kevin Doris

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