Showing posts with label the International. Show all posts
Showing posts with label the International. Show all posts

Monday, December 13, 2021

RIP Molly Fitch

Photo of Molly (above left, with Tyler and Billy the Artist) from early 2020 by Stacie Joy. Updated to include a comment from the Post.

Molly Fitch, a longtime East Village resident and the owner of the International Bar at 102 First Ave., died last night, Dec. 12. She was 51.

The bar's Instagram account confirmed the sad news. Details about the cause of death have not been made public.
We lost the most valuable, most authentic, most mythical creature in our lives last night. We are terrified of saying goodbye and putting our love and heartbreak into words. We celebrate the life of our owner, our friend, and creator of our little East Village family at the International Bar — an institution open to those who need a place to call home.

We remain open 7 days a week at regular hours. Please give our team the love we need to continue to serve the East Village community with Molly's legacy.

The International Bar has had several iterations in the East Village, first at 119 St. Mark's Place in the 1970s then later at 120 1/2 First Ave. In 2008, Molly and Shawn Dahl reopened the International and kept the downtown spirit going until the landlord didn't renew the lease. In November 2017, the International merged with its sister bar, the Coal Yard, at its current location, 102 First Ave. at Sixth Street. 

"She was an embodiment of the old East Village, a pre-commercialized downtown New York where small businesses and punk rockers and individuals could make it," former bouncer and bar manager David O'Donnell told the Post.

I spent time at both the International and the Coal Yard and had the opportunity to get to know Molly. I always thought she was one of the kindest and coolest people I've ever met.

We were also neighbors for a while on Eighth Street between Avenue B and Avenue C. I've long been a very early morning person, and I'd run into her outside: me on the way to work and her coming home from closing up the bar.

Once, on a frigid January Monday morning, she insisted on driving me to Astor Place so I could catch the 6 train for work. We got in her rustic pickup truck, and I remember it was warmer outside than inside. We laughed the whole way to Astor Place.

Friday, September 6, 2019

Sip Ahoy: A remembrance for Unkle Waltie at the International

Friends are gathering tomorrow (Sept. 7) at the International Bar to celebrate the life of longtime East Village resident Walter Kohl (aka Unkle Waltie).

Kohl, who had been recently diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, died on July 30. He was 69.

The iBar is at 102 First Ave. between Sixth Street and Seventh Street.

For further reading about Unkle Waltie's phrase "Sip ahoy," check out these posts from 2011 via our old friend Marty, who's actually not that old.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

More about Bubbleology Tea, possibly coming soon to 1st Avenue

Over the weekend, some Bubbleology Tea backgrounders went up on the window at 120 1/2 First Ave., where applicants are hopeful to open a franchise here between Seventh Street and St. Mark's Place.

As noted last week, the applicants are seeking a full-liquor license this month for the former International Bar space... the info on the window notes how the London-based chain got its start...

... with info on the variety of bubble teas they serve...

There's also a notice that nine of their 43 bubble teas contain alcohol (in case you were wondering why they were seeking a full liquor license) ...

In addition to the beverage menu, Bubbleology Tea will serve a "variety of authentic Sweet & Savoury Toasted English crumpets, as well as assorted snacks," per their questionnaire on file at the CB3 website ahead of Monday evening's meeting.

We'll take a look at a few other applicant's on Monday evening's SLA committee docket later this week. The CB3-SLA meeting is at 6:30 p.m. on April 16 in the Public Hotel, 17th Floor, Sophia Room, 215 Chrystie St. between Houston and Stanton.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Bubbleology Tea seeking full liquor license for the former International space on 1st Avenue

Friday, March 16, 2018

Not a lot of information about what's next for these 2 former East Village bars

This past weekend someone removed the handpainted Grassroots Tavern sign from here at 20 St. Mark's Place between Second Avenue and Third Avenue...

Kind of surprised no one tried to take it earlier (it was bolted into the wall pretty well). The bar closed after 42 years on New Year's Eve.

As previously reported, the new owner of the bar is Richard Precious, who operates the mini chain of Irish-style pubs called The Ginger Man (including the one on 36th Street).

To date, not much has been made public about his plans for the space. In addition, not much has happened inside the space (aside from some minor clean up and keg removal). An EVG tipster recently found the door open, and ventured inside.

I went over and spoke to one of the guys inside. I asked him when are they going to open. He said kind of laughing "April or May. You know how it is." I then asked are they going to use the name Ginger Man or Grassroots. He said no to Ginger Man and possibly for Grassroots. I have no idea what is the guy’s position in the organization, so you never know what’s really going to happen. To be continued.


And over at 120 1/2 First Ave. between Seventh Street and St. Mark's Place... the for rent sign has been removed from the former International Bar (the asking rent is $9,955) ...

According to one former employee, a bubble tea shop is moving in. Now this has not been confirmed ... and could merely be a sarcastic (yet seemingly probable) response ...

The latest iteration of the International Bar closed this past Thanksgiving. (Non-renewal of lease, via landlord Steve Croman.) The bar merged with its sister saloon, the Coal Yard, one block to the south between Seventh Street and Sixth Street.

H/T Steven!

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

IBar signage arrives at the Coal Yard ahead of tomorrow's merger

[Photo by Scott McBride]

As noted here yesterday, the International Bar is closing after service tonight (early tomorrow morning) at 120 1/2 First Ave. Starting on Thanksgiving, sister bar the Coal Yard a block to the south near Sixth Street will be the home of the International.

Ahead of that, the International Bar lettering was added yesterday to the Coal Yard's front window.

The latest iteration of the iBar opened in June 2008. Word is that No. 120 1/2 landlord Steve Croman wasn't offering a lease renewal.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

The International Bar closing, merging with the Coal Yard on 1st Avenue

The latest iteration of the International Bar closes after service tomorrow night at 120 1/2 First Avenue. The bar will be merging with its sister saloon, the Coal Yard, one block to the south between Seventh Street and Sixth Street. The Coal Yard space will be rebranded as the International... and will be open on Thanksgiving. (This information comes from two bartenders and a handful of regulars.)

This move had been anticipated for some time as ownership knew that the landlord for No. 120 1/2, Steve Croman, wasn't going to renew the lease.

The International has had several lives since it first opened at 119 St. Mark's Place between Avenue A and First Avenue in the 1970s... owner Mary Petruno and her son Michael later moved the bar to No. 120 1/2 when she bought the building.

[International Bar & Grill, 119 St. Marks Place, 1986 © Ted Barron]

I'm a little hazy on details of when everything happened at No. 120 1/2, such as the bar moving from the north side of the space to the south side and back to the north side. (This post at Vanishing New York has some of the background.) The International closed in 2005 ... and the space sat empty until Shawn Dahl and Molly Fitch reopened the International in its current low-key neighborhood format in June 2008.

[The International the other morning]

Molly and Shawn opened the equally low-key Coal Yard in 2010.

Updated 11/22

From today's post.

[Photo by Scott McBride]

Updated 11:30 a.m.

Thanks to EVG reader John M. for this screengrab... when Keith Richards walks by the International when it was on St. Mark's Place during the "Waiting on a Friend" video...

... and once again...

Friday, January 30, 2015

Any East Village bars that WON'T be playing the Super Bowl on Sunday?

[Photo via our friends at The International]

Because people ask us this question this time of year. (And other times too, actually.)

TV-free neighborhood bars include:

Burp Castle, 41 E. Seventh St. between Second Avenue and Cooper Square
The International Bar, 120 1/2 First Avenue near East Seventh Street
Scratcher, 209 E. Fifth St. between Second Avenue and Cooper Square
Swift Hibernian Lounge, 34 E. Fourth St. between the Bowery and Lafayette
The Wayland, Avenue C at East Ninth Street

This is certainly not a comprehensive list. Feel free to name other TV-free neighborhood bars in the comments... (and Hookah bars don't count...)

And as the sign at The International shows, there is an anti-Super Bowl party there all-day Sunday.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Seafood market in the works for the International Bar space on 1st Avenue

Back in September, we reported that the International Bar was hoping to move next door from its current home on First Avenue to the former South Brooklyn Pizza space.

Preparations to move the bar and add a pizzeria with slices to go here between East Seventh Street and St. Mark's Place are underway.

Meanwhile, there are also plans to turn the soon-to-be-former International space into a seafood market.

International owner Molly Fitch, who along with Shawn Dahl, reopened the bar in June 2008, said that the new venture at 120 1/2 First Ave. will be called The Liquor Seafood Market + Bar.

With time left on the current lease, Fitch said that she wanted to "open a much-needed place to get fresh fish in the neighborhood."

During the day, the space will operate as a traditional retail outlet for fresh seafood… and in the evening, the market will give way to a more traditional bar-restaurant environment with a 2 a.m. closing time. (Amended this last sentence to add the restaurant part and closing time!)

Fitch shared part of a sample menu with us.

Helping Fitch with the market is Sebastian Jaramillo, a former chef with Porsena on East Seventh Street.

CB3's SLA committee will hear plans for this alteration during tonight's monthly meeting.

Previously on EV Grieve:
The International eyeing move next door to the former South Brooklyn Pizza space

Friday, September 26, 2014

October CB3/SLA highlights: The International and The Cock on the move

[EVG file photo of the International]

CB3 released the SLA licensing committee docket yesterday … there will be two meetings this month — Oct. 6 and Oct. 20. We'll look at the whole agenda (only 21 items in total) in another post.

For the time being, we'll note two bars on the move.

First there's The International, whose owner Molly Fitch is eyeing the vacant space next door that previously housed South Brooklyn Pizza Co. We first reported this last Thursday. You can find out what's in store for 122 First Ave. here. (This item will be heard on Oct. 20.)

Meanwhile, The Cock appears to be leaving its Second Avenue home for Avenue B … specifically 25 Avenue B, according to paperwork at CB3. (The item is set for Oct. 6.)

No. 25 near East Second Street is currently home to Idle Hands. No word on what might become of Idle Hands.

You may find the full agenda here.

Previously on EV Grieve:
The International eyeing move next door to the former South Brooklyn Pizza space

Thursday, September 18, 2014

The International eyeing move next door to the former South Brooklyn Pizza space

There are plans to relocate neighborhood favorite the International one storefront away on First Avenue between East Seventh Street and St. Mark's Place.

International owner Molly Fitch, who along with Shawn Dahl, reopened the bar in June 2008, said that the opportunity to move so close is too good to pass up. However, it's not a done deal just yet.

If it works out, then Molly and the International crew will have more room to work with. South Brooklyn Pizza, which closed in April, was split into two sections, the space for to-go slices and a dining room.

Molly, who also owns the Coal Yard one block to the south on First Avenue, said that she would use the space on the right for an NYC-style to-go pizzeria. The left side of the storefront would house The International. (She'd retain the warm, comfortable vibe of the current bar.)

This would be the fourth iteration of The International, which was originally on St. Mark's Place before the owner moved it to its current location at 120 1/2 First Avenue. The International closed in 2002 after the death of the partner of the original owner's son. The space sat in limbo until Molly and Shawn reopened it in 2008.

The application for a new liquor license will likely be one of the items expected before the CB3/SLA subcommittee meeting next month.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

International Bar owners taking over Lilly Coogan's

As I noted back in late June, a transfer for the former Lilly Coogan's space is on the docket for this month's CB3/SLA meeting on Thursday night ... And an eagle-eyed tipster notes that the telephone number on the notice hanging outside Lilly's is the same as the International Bar.

If this is the case, then this is very good news... after sitting empty for a few years, new owners Molly and Shawn reopened the dear old International on First Avenue near Seventh Street in 2008 ...the new International is one of the best bars in the East Village... a place for neighbors that's blissfully free of jackasses.

Jeremiah had a feature on the new International back in June 2008...