The Patriot has gone dark

The Patriot, one of the neighborhood’s older bar bars and a beacon on Chambers Street, has closed. I am hoping it’s not permanent, but it is for sure not good news. (S. sent word two days ago, and I walked over last night.) Reade Street Pub, Tribeca Tavern, Raccoon Lodge and now this. Add the Dark Horse to the list as well.

Their note — written in classic Patriot chalkboard style — left the sliver of an opening for a future return, but not a lot of specifics. “Due to current financial constraints, the light at the end of the tunnel will be turned off until further notice.”

This is a real loss. I really loved the place. I had my 50th birthday party there upstairs and then-Borough President Gale Brewer showed up late — she knew nearly every person at the bar downstairs so had to meet and greet as she wended her way to the back staircase. A wee-hours bar fight between two regulars was calmly defused by my friend and deputy borough president Matthew Washington — still in his suit from work. (That summed up the place for me.) The bartenders invited me to dance on the bar, of course, but better yet, they let me write my party invitation on the chalkboards outside.

The Patriot was opened by bar mogul Tom McNeil in 2003 — and I am hoping commenters here can remember what was there before. (A neighborhood stalwart who lived above the place starting in 1974 called it a “fake dive bar,” since the relics inside were hung crooked on purpose.) McNeil had the Village Idiot, which he opened in the East Village in the ’80s and closed in the Meatpacking in 2004, when the rent went from $16 a square foot to $60.

McNeil’s formula (and legacy) was scantily clad bartenders and cheap beer; his former employees went on to open Hogs and Heifers (owned still by former Tribecan Michelle Dell, now in Vegas), Doc Holliday’s and Coyote Ugly.

The formula worked — the Patriot is on Grub Street’s list of the city’s best dive bars (along with Nancy Whiskey). It bumped along during the pandemic, even replacing its neon sign in a sign of optimism, until now. Just hoping this isn’t the end.




  1. I suspect the building, along with 2 or 3 buildings to the west will be torn down and redeveloped. The buildings to the west have been vacant for a while. I have no inside info, just a hunch.

  2. Where is left for the working class in Tribeca to grab a beer?

    • Puffy’s, Nancy Whiskey, Mudville, Walker’s, Monk McGinn’s, Greenwich Street Tavern, The Hideaway — all still going strong. Did I miss anyone?

      • Great list, those are all solid spots! Nancy and Puffy’s especially are still very wallet friendly. Fingers crossed they all stick around! Sad every time a local watering hole shuts down.

  3. What a shame . It was a great place love it

  4. The Patriot was Popeyes for awhile. I drew and painted every store front on that block and it was Popeyes

    • Popeye’s was next door to the west. You can still see the little red awning detail.

      • Video from 2008:

        112 Chambers St., Yoko Ono loft, 1 of 3 on Vimeo

      • I enjoyed the Patriot. It was never as wild or fun as Village Idiot or Hogs, but nice relaxing place to get cheap beers and bar food after work on a Friday evening. If they are looking for a new location with possibly cheaper rent, I noticed the former Holland Bar location on 9th Ave is for lease.

  5. It’s officially closed. Posted a lengthy letter on the door today thanking the community and not-so-subtly suggesting that the elected officials on the neighborhood were at least in part to blame.

    This is a real loss, IMO. The Patriot was a old school neighborhood institution and one of the few remaining bars with some real character (and not to mention being genuinely affordable).