John Leeper, who retired this past summer after working 24 years behind the bar at the Grassroots Tavern on St. Mark's Place, has died. Several EV Grieve readers passed along word. We understand that he died of a heart attack during the weekend. We don't know his age, but everyone's best guest is 75 to 80.
John just stopped by the bar last Thursday night, and was his usual self.
On Facebook, Grassroots regular Brian Cogan wrote the following:
John was a consumate storyteller. He WAS Grassroots for those of us early birds who sat and listened to him over a beer. Whether it was about Kansas, opera, or working for the Mob (briefly), John held us in the palm of his hand, before asking if we wanted another. And with him bartending, we always did. RIP John.
We don't have all the details about services. We understand that there will be a service in Brooklyn. He will be buried in a family plot in Kansas.
Previously on EV Grieve:
An end of an era at the Grassroots Tavern