Tuesday, December 6, 2016

[Updated] Patrons trying to help keep Big Lee's open on 1st Avenue

We noticed that Big Lee's (aka the Hard Swallow Saloon), the no-frills bar at 140 First Ave. between St. Mark's Place and Ninth Street, has been closed the past week.

Some patrons of Big Lee's have started a fundraising campaign to help keep the bar open. Here's part of their appeal:

We are friends of Big Lee's The Hard Swallow Saloon, and are fighting to keep another true dive bar from being kicked out of the big city. Due to a re-neg on a purchase agreement of the bar, our friends are now having to incur some serious legal fees to fight this injustice, and also cover lost revenue while the bar is closed. ... So we're asking for everyone to help pitch in a little to help cover the legal fees & get our favorite bar back open.

So far, the group has raised some $1,400 of a $10,000 goal.

The bar opened in the summer of 2015 in the former Spanky and Darla's space. Big Lee is a former doorman/bouncer at Hogs & Heifers as well as Coney Island High on St. Mark's Place (he is also originally from Coney Island).

Updated 12/10

Big Lee's is back open...


[Photo by Steven]

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

I was wondering why its been quiet around here recently...

olympiasepiriot said...

Look, dive bars are great, but I still miss when this was International Meats...and that wasn't all that long ago. I preferred their kielbasa to everyone else's in the neighborhood. And that was when there was actually a selection of sausage around here. Not like now when all we can choose between is overpriced, probably-only-here-for-a-short-while restaurants and bars.

Anonymous said...

While I would hate for another national bank or coffee franchise to open here, they weren't the best neighbors. The music was really loud late at night when they left the door open in hopes of attracting customers.

Anonymous said...

can anyone please tell me how to contact big lee et al to help them

thanks

Anonymous said...

What are the remaining dive bars left in the East Village besides Mona's?

Anonymous said...

https://www.gofundme.com/help-save-the-hard-swallow-saloon

Anonymous said...

The draw of dive bars is the thing that kills them -- cheap drinks.

Anonymous said...

If you live in the EV /LES and you have to ask what dive bars still are around you should check out what you have been doing for the past decade. I wouldn't name my favorites for fear that people like you would start going there as would those horrible sorts with their ugly Christmas sweaters. Keep silent on the great dive bars to keep them great dive bars.

Anonymous said...

12:52 PM is only asking for a friend ;)

Anonymous said...

Thehardswallow@aol.com

Anonymous said...

Hey idio t at 3:00pm

I don't live in the East Village or on the Lower East Side, nor do I wear horrible Christmas sweaters or sweaters period. I can see you've been a little smartmouthed prig the past decade as I'm sure your were one in 2006, too.

I could leave it at that but nah - scr ew your keeping dive bars a secret nonsense. These places can't survive with just self-appointed keepers of the diveyness like you. People GASP! different than you and who don't have an address in whatever zip code you require them to have to patronize what you think is your bar but is not should be able to grab an inexpensive pint or bottle, and I doubt you were born a cool person.

Last, dive bars don't need people like you to make sure their places are turned into SantaCon drunktanks, they (can) handle whoever just fine.