Was sad to learn, this morning, that long-standing bar/restaurant Live Bait on East 23rd Street has closed up shop after 31 years on that strip. It naively seemed to me like one of those places that was always going to be there. Evidently not.
I first started going back in 1989, whilst interning paylessly at SPIN Magazine just over on West 18th Street, Live Bait being one point in a triangle of arguably cheap, irresponsible inebriation that also included the Old Town Bar & Grill (still there) and 119 Bar on East 15th (now a theme-belabored douche-factory called Headless Horseman). I also remember noting that Live Bait's signature neon signage could always be clearly seen from the observation deck of the Empire State building that loomed over it from ten blocks away.
The last time I was in Live Bait would have been 2016, when I was knocking back beers before joining other grizzled, greying punk dads to go see OFF! at the Gramercy Theatre just down the road a piece.
Picture courtesy of my lovely former colleague, C-Monstah.