Z. Madison

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Deathwatch 2007: Chumley's

It's a sad, sad day dear readers. At first, I didn't want to believe the breaking news on Gawker but the pictures and coverage on Curbed confirmed it.

A wall collapsed at 82-86 Bedford Street. Telling that address to a cabbie was the only way I could find myself to the mythical corner of Bedford and Barrow back when the West Village was still an unnavigable maze. From the moment my then boss took me and a coworker there after a Christmas Party, I was smitten. And who wouldn't be? We entered through the 'secret' side entrance into a single 22 year old female's dream: A dark smoke-filled room packed with young investment banker types.

Over the years, as the IB crush fad faded, I faithfully returned for the real charms of this former speakeasy. I fell in love with the jazzy jukebox, witty Ladies Room graffiti and peering through the window above the bar into the brownstone the place was tucked away in. Sipping a Heather's Honey under the watchful eye of Hemingway, Steinbeck and Woody Allen's portraits became a semi-regular weekend activity. Suggesting a Bitter Bulldog became a successful 2nd date mainstay.

True, I haven't been by in awhile, even though I now work only blocks from my former haunt, but I was devastated to hear of it's eminent demise. This afternoon Curbed reported a wall had collapsed and the FDNY and ConEd folks are likely tearing it down.

Oh Chumley's, you would truly be missed.

UPDATE: Official word from the Dept. of Buildings: "Earlier today, Buildings inspectors and engineers were called to assess structural damage to the building at 86 Bedford Street in Manhattan. The chimney at 86 Bedford Street separated from the interior wall and collapsed into the bar area. There were no injuries. Two buildings have been temporarily vacated pending the completion of theshoring work. The Red Cross is assisting with relocating the tenants. Buildings engineers have determined the building is not in danger of collapse. Demolition of the building is not being considered at this time." [CHUMLEY'S LIVES! ]

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