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Inwood Bar Irish Eyes Closes After More Than Two Decades

 The Irish Eyes at 5008 Broadway closed on Monday after 22 years in business.
The Irish Eyes at 5008 Broadway closed on Monday after 22 years in business.
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DNAinfo/Lindsay Armstrong

INWOOD — Irish eyes are crying.

The pub Irish Eyes, which spent more than two decades at the corner of Broadway and West 213th Street, closed its doors for good on Monday.

Owner Chris Doherty said he wasn't able to negotiate a lease for the space at 5008 Broadway, where he opened the bar 22 years ago. The space has been occupied by various Irish pubs through decades, he said, most recently The Donemay before it became Irish Eyes.

Doherty appeared before Community Board 12 in May to renew his liquor license, with the board voting in favor of his application.

However, he said he encountered problems when he spoke to his landlord.

“I couldn’t get a lease,” Doherty said Monday afternoon while cleaning out the bar, noting that rents in the neighborhood have increased substantially in the last few years.

The building’s landlord declined to comment.

Although once plentiful along the avenues of Inwood and Washington Heights, Irish bars are now a dying breed Uptown. Earlier this year, Reynold’s Café at Broadway and 180th Street abruptly shut down after 50 years in business. 

Doherty said many residents were disappointed upon hearing the news.

“We saw a lot of people upset yesterday,” he said of the many patrons who came in to say goodbye after news of the closing was posted on the bar’s Facebook page.

Doherty, who opened Irish Eyes after moving from Ireland to New York City, did not say what was next for him, but wanted to thank his customers.

“We made many good friends over the years,” he said. “I want to say thanks to everyone for their support and loyalty.”