"Your heart almost gets ripped out every time these things happen," said City Councilwoman Gale Brewer, calling just past deadline on Tuesday to comment on the hallowed P & G bar’s looming departure from its longstanding location at the corner of Amsterdam Avenue and 73rd Street.
"Many patrons of P & G call me all the time," Ms. Brewer said. "Even though it’s not leaving the neighborhood, I hate to have it move — and I don’t know what happens with the sign."
The bar’s beaming red, yellow and green "Cafe Bar" sign has illuminated the corner since 1942 and is widely considered a neighborhood landmark; its fate is now up in the air as the bar’s owners plan to relocate to 380 Columbus Avenue after a fruitless two-year struggle to stay put. The existing lease expires Dec. 31.
"Are they going to want to move it? I don’t know if they’re going to be able to move it," Ms. Brewer said. "I don’t know if they’re going to be allowed to by the Landmarks Preservation Commission.
"I know the new building really well," she added. "It’s a downstairs environment, first of all, and I don’t even quite know how it would fit there. I can’t see it fitting in the context of the new building. Maybe he just has to do a new sign," she said, referring to P & G owner Tom Chahalis. "But I don’t know how he could do something similar in the new space.
"I don’t know what to say, except that the whole neighborhood is in mourning."