Sunday, November 7, 2010

"He possessed knowledge that most people don't even come across today"

Las week, we passed along that sad news that Howard O'Brien, a longtime bartender at Sophie's, had died after an eight-month battle with cancer.

Patrick Hedlund has a lovely feature on Howard at DNAinfo:

When friends came to clean out the apartment of Howard O'Brien, the longtime neighborhood bartender who passed away last week, they found his Yale University master's degree diploma still rolled up in its original packaging.

Friends said that was typical for a man who, despite his extensive education and vast accomplishments, chose to spend nearly 25 years behind the bar at Sophie's on East 5th Street, one of the last true local haunts left in the East Village.

"Maybe he took it out to look at it once and then put it back in the tube. That's how nonchalant he was about something like that," said Bob Corton, 57, the founder and former owner of Sophie's, who grew up with O'Brien in Westchester and helped empty his East 3rd Street apartment last week.

"He possessed knowledge that most people don't even come across today."

Previously on EV Grieve:
Howard O'Brien, 1954-2010

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