CHINATOWN — Neighborhood staple and karaoke hotspot Winnie’s Bar will close after 28 years in business, according to employees.
Bartender Fanny Wu, who has worked at the Bayard Street bar for over two years, said she did know the exact date of the its closure, but said it would close within the next month.
“I’d hate to see it go. I don’t what else there is to say,” she said Tuesday afternoon. “I love this place.”
Wu could not give any details about the closure but said it was due to lease issues. According to Jeremiah’s Vanishing New York, which first reported the closure, the landlord decided to rent the space to another tenant. The owners of the business were not immediately available for comment.
Wu described the bar as an unpretentious neighborhood dive that attracted both locals and visitors.
“Everyone comes here from your artist, your finance people, business people, fashion people, your students… that’s why I like it,” she said. “But you don’t have to be anyone you don’t want to be.”
The space was decked out with a dark wood interior and bright red booths, with a stage in the back. In 2009, the Village Voice declared Winnie’s the “Best Karaoke Bar” in the city.
Jimmy Napoli, a regular who works as a tour guide, said he was “heartbroken” by the news.
“The bartenders here are the best in the city and when they’re gone it’s going to be the end of an era,” said Napoli, who said he often brings small tour groups to the bar.
“It’s one more weakening of the fabric of our culture in New York as more and more communities become sterilized. It’s the loss of another great iconic symbol of this community.”
Information about the building's landlord was not immediately available.