MURRAY HILL — After 22 years in the neighborhood, popular pub Third and Long will close its doors by the end of the month, its owners said.
The sports bar’s five-year lease for the space at 523 Third Ave., at 35th Street, will expire at the end of June, and the operators weren't able to renew it because they couldn’t afford the rent increase, said Matthew Long, 47, who owns the bar with his brother Jimmy.
“It’s the same old story,” Long said. “For 22 years, we’ve been good tenants to the landlord, but now the rent has more than doubled the market value in the neighborhood. It’s way too high. We tried to negotiate, but he wasn’t having it."
The increase would bump the rent to $26,000, about 260 per square foot, Long said. The bar's last day will be June 26, he said.
The building's landlord, Andreas Papadopoulos, did not immediately return a call for comment Friday.
Long said four full-time employees will be without a job when the bar closes.
“[The bar] wasn’t a place for people to come to get extra money,” Long said. “These four people count on this job. I feel bad for the change [the employees] will go through, rather than the nostalgia of owning a bar in Manhattan.”
Matthew and Jimmy Long, two of nine siblings, opened Third and Long in 1991. They both became firefighters in 1993, and continued running the bar with their siblings over the next two decades.
“All nine siblings have worked at the bar at one point,” Matthew Long said.
Matthew Long currently lives with his family in the Rockaways, and Jimmy Long, 46, lives with his family in Bayside.
Although the Longs are calling it quits at this particular address, they’re considering reopening at a different location with the same name in the future.
“Third and Long was always compared to home,” Matthew said. “It was always your neighborhood pub, whether you’re from Missouri or Brooklyn. It's nice to look back and see we’ve been doing it right for the past 22 years.”