PARK SLOPE — Bar Reis closed earlier this month after 16 years in business, owner Reis Goldberg told DNAinfo New York.
"It was time to get out while we were still on top," said Goldberg, who opened the bar in 1999 at 375 Fifth Ave., near Sixth Street.
He said the closure wasn't pegged to any one factor, but noted that keeping a bar afloat in New York was a financial challenge. His rent increased 8 years ago, and the city fees associated with running a small business created a constant squeeze.
He said he would miss the community that formed among the bar's regulars and staff. Goldberg met his wife at the bar 10 years ago. They now have three children who attend nearby P.S. 118.
“It was a lot different than a lot of bars,” Goldberg said. “The weekends were big parties with dancing. On the weeknights it was a bunch of intellectuals, writers, artists…It was a real diverse place, which was what people liked the most about it.”
Hundreds of regulars, both present and past, crowded the bar for a farewell party on Feb. 8, Goldberg said. Some even came from out of state to give the watering hole a proper sendoff, he said.
"On my final night, 20 or 30 people were lined up to get inside," Goldberg said. "They really made me and my wife feel like kings. I’ll take that any day of the week."
Goldberg is considering starting a tour guide company next.
Reis Bar is one of several bars along Fifth Avenue that have closed in recent years.