Owners Jesse Malin and Johnny T (whose other local ventures include 2A and Bowery Electric) as well as well as Jonathan Toubin have dedicated the space to the late Howie Pyro. Pyro, the prolific musician, producer and DJ, died in May from complications from COVID-19-related pneumonia following a liver transplant. He was 61.
Here's more about the venue via the 96 Tears site:
"96 Tears" is of course the ? and The Mysterians distinctive #1 hit that was covered by everybody from Big Maybelle, Jimmy Ruffin, and Aretha Franklin to The Modern Lovers, Suicide, and The Stranglers. The DNA of so many revolutionary minimalist sounds that evolved across generations since its release, the original classic recording is also the first song ever referred to in print as "punk music" (by Dave Marsh in a 1971 issue of CREEM).
While these dimensions of the song's journey are at the heart of what 96 Tears is all about, the bar took its name from a tattoo across the neck of Howie Pyro... Howie's tragic death in May, and his friends' subsequent focus on his remarkable life and how he lived it, was the inspiration for 96 Tears.Pyro was also well-known for his extensive collection of music-related memorabilia, which will be featured at 96 Tears...
The walls and shelves of the 96 Tears bar realize Howie's dream as they're adorned with his original posters, tchotchkes, and other extraordinary artifacts like the original promotional fruit company ashtray he discovered Andy Warhol lifted for The Velvet Underground & Nico LP cover ... the "Free Sid Vicious" shirt that punk's original poster child left at Howie's apartment before his legendary demise ... a gold record the Ramones presented to Howie for their debut LP, a Dead Boys bass case that became his own, and an unimaginable array of other authentic subcultural wonders from across the edges of the 20th Century sub terrain that found their way into Howie's orbit.The bar is open from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m., with a 4 a.m. close on weekends. You can check out their food menu (similar to the one at Tompkins Square Bar) here.