I was deeply saddened, today, to read of the impending closing of both the NoHo Star and its adjoining Temple Bar on Lafayette Street.
The NoHo Star is a family favorite of ours, and a relatively longstanding neighborhood institution. Unfussy but with an immaculate presentaiton, the fare at the NoHo Star has always been great, and the atmosphere convivial and largely unchanged since its opening in the mid-80’s. To my mind, it’s just always been a safe bet, a dependably good call and just a cool, cool spot.
But even before I became I patron at the NoHo Star, it was iconic for me. Perched on the southwest corner of Bleecker & Lafayette, it was the go-to landmark where I’d meet my friends. In the deathly dark ages before cell phones (I know … a shockng invocation), my friends and I would have to establish plans and rendez-vous points in advance, without the ability to check in en route, as we’d all be on our respective subway trains. A convenient staging area for myriad points downtown (then steps away from likely destinations like CBGB, the original iteraiton of The Knitting Factory on Houston Street, Tower Records on Broadway, etc. etc.), I would routinely suggest that we all “meet in front of the NoHo Star.” Many an evening did I pace in front of said locale’s iconic signage -- memorable for its backwards lettering -- or singularly distinctive front windows, replete with zig-zagging, diagonal panes (see above, snapped as recently as last week), waiting for my comrades.
Again, in later years, it became a great spot for a date. I enjoyed many of same, there, with the great lady who became my wife. We also brought our -– shock, horror -– baby stroller in and sat by the bar in the front just after Charlotte was born.
In more recent years, we indoctrinated our kids into the faith, and the suggestion of dinner at the NoHo Star is always met with a cheer. I remain desperately fond of their beef stir-fry, especially when accompanined by one or more Tsingtaos.
I will miss it terribly.
My wife is a bigger fan of the Temple Bar than I’ve ever been, although I believe I did once spot Michael Gira and Jarboe from SWANS, some years back, sipping cocktails within its formidably dark interiors. I’ve always liked its cryptic signage (a crescent-shaped skeleton of a lizard of some variety).
According to Jeremiah Moss, the reason we’re losing both of these establishments is “economic.”
Fuck what this city has become.