Thursday, July 15, 2004

Don't Leave Us, Idiot

Way back in 1996 when I first moved to New York City I had a job. A job that paid not nearly enough. Due to the limited funds left over after the majority of my small paycheck would go to rent and other expenses, I (and the rest of my co-workers) would find cheap beer to be not only enjoyable, but pretty much a necessity.

One night at a (not overly economical or entertaining) bar near work my friend Gary comes up to me and tells me that he and another guy are heading to a bar downtown that is cheaper and less annoying if I wanted in. I agreed making this night my introduction to the world of the Village Idiot. Gary wasn't lying. The Village Idiot WAS cheaper and less annoying.

This night, and many thereafter were filled with $1.75 PBRs, Johnny Cash, scantily clad bartenders, stinky bathrooms, awful dancing, nonsensical conversations, darts, Jack Daniels, some fights and the hangovers that go along with all that. I even spent a night there that had me playing pool against Vince Vaughn.

Well, even though I haven't been in quite awhile I am still sad to have learned that The Idiot will be closing it's doors 16 days from now (July 31, 2004). The Village Idiot made for some good times and some blury memories and may very well have been the thing that kept me alive (while at the same time almost killing me) in my early years living in NYC. I will miss you Village Idiot.

From the NY Post:

SKYROCKETING rents in the oppressively trendy Meatpacking District have claimed another victim. The Village Idiot is closing at the end of the month because owner Tom McNeil couldn't afford the big bucks his landlord demanded. The divey honky-tonk bar on West 14th Street was a neighborhood fixture for a decade, as well as a location shoot for TV's "Law & Order" and the movies "Copland" and "Rounders." McNeil, who also founded faux-redneck joints Hogs and Heifers and Doc Hollidays, is sickened by the changes in his once gritty neighborhood. "I think it's going to yuppie hell," he told us. "If I was gonna start charging $7.50 for a shot of Wild Turkey, I could stay open, but I refuse to do that. This is a bar for regular people. I'm not interested in the fashion crowd -- they can go to the Stella McCartney store down the street." McNeil, who still owns Yogi's on the Upper West Side and the Patriot in TriBeCa, is hoping to resurrect the Idiot somewhere downtown.

I repeat -- I will miss you Village Idiot.

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