WEST VILLAGE — A hard-to-find sports bar in the Village is getting a makeover.
Bleecker Heights Tavern — a watering hole with no sign or separate entrance, that's tucked above the Five Guys burger joint on Bleecker Street — closed suddenly last week but will reopen next month under new management with fancier drinks and nicer decor, a manager said.
The bar will replace some of its six TVs with bookshelves, add more comfortable seating and upgrade the drink menu with new cocktails and a "more worldly" beer selection, said Adam Fulton, one of the new managers.
"Generally we're going to be a little more refined drinking establishment but still accessible to everyone," Fulton said.
He added, "It's going to be a cool neighborhood bar to have some cocktails, shots and beers. We're not gonna have a door guy blocking people from coming up."
Fulton said prices would rise "slightly," though he did not specify how much.
Bleecker Heights Tavern was popular with University of Arizona alumni, who claimed it as their base to cheer on their football team, the Wildcats, and was known for selling $3 Budweisers and Bud Lights.
What separated the bar from other speakeasy-type venues in the neighborhood was it was never meant to be exclusive. There were no secret doors, no bells to be rung or passwords to be whispered. All you needed to know was to go through the Five Guys at 296 Bleecker St., hang a left at the bathroom and head upstairs.
The as-yet-unnamed new bar, opening in March, will remain owned by the team that also owns Five Guys — John Rigos, Andrew Stern and Mark Marasciullo — but Bleecker Heights Bar manager Patrick Day will no longer be part of the business, Fulton said.
Day did not immediately respond to a voicemail requesting comment.
In addition to the changes to the drink menu, the new bar will upgrade its decor to make it "a little bit more like somebody's apartment," with more comfortable chairs, Fulton said.
But he insisted that the casual, laid-back vibe wouldn't change.
"It'll be like coming to a good friend's apartment, who's well-traveled," he said.