Despite months of protests, Freddy’s Bar closes this weekend–it’s set to be demolished in preparation for the Atlantic Yards development. A Times eulogy explains the bar’s history:
At different times and depending on whom you ask, the bar now called Freddy’s was a neighborhood haven for working-class drinkers, the CBGB’s of Brooklyn or a fountainhead of activism, creativity and dissent. In a cigar box kept behind the bar, locals stashed their house keys, and the bartender would cash regulars’ checks, according to David Sheets, 49, Freddy’s resident historian, who worked at the bar for a few years in the late 1990s.
In a letter posted to the Freddy’s website, manager Donald O’Finn writes:
We are the little guy with a home-grown Brooklyn business. In our fight against legalized corruption and closed-door cronyism we feel we have dealt a blow to billionaire Ratner’s abuse of eminent domain.
O’Finn says that the bar is currently in talks for a new location near Union Street and 4th Avenue; in the meantime, they’re throwing a “Victory Party” tonight to “celebrate the little guy.”
“Freddy’s is not merely a building on a street corner,” he writes. “It is a grand idea.”