Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Cheers to The Whiskey Ward

Photos and reporting by Stacie Joy 

Regulars and employees, past and present, gathered last Wednesday night for a farewell to the Whiskey Ward. 

The low-key neighborhood bar at 121 Essex between Rivington and Delancey has been on the Lower East Side for nearly 24 years. 

I arrived as co-owner Sandee Wright was prepping to open on this special night...
... along with bartenders Chloe Troy...
... and Chelsea Pinchera ...
Wright said the closure had nothing to do with a landlord or rent increase. "We're going out under our own terms."
Why are they closing? "It's time," said Wright, a longtime Lower East Side resident who relocated a few years ago. 

"Things changed a lot after COVID, and people had less disposable income...and whiskies were hard to come by, especially ones like Pappy Van Winkle. It's impossible to get the good stuff — the bottles no one else has."
"I'm going to miss this place terribly," she said. "Every brick of it."
"I love everything about this place and the people," Wright said. "They are my family."


As we understand it, a friend of Wright's plans to apply for a new liquor license and take over the space — operating under a new name — in the months ahead.




Anonymous said...

Glad to hear this may live on - in its own way. All the best to everyone involved in the past and future.