Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Another Sad Story about a Business Closing Due to the COVID Situation

Thousands of businesses in New York City including bars and restaurants have closed in 2020 due to the COVID situation.  I just decided to give an example - Finnerty's Sports Bar on 2nd Avenue and 14th Street in Manhattan. It is unique since it appeals to fans of San Francisco sports teams.  The New York Giants (Baseball) Preservation Society held several meetings there.  Below is a message that the owners sent to their customers.


To our friends and supporters,

We hope you all are staying healthy and safe during these unprecedented times!

We are reaching out today to let you all know that we have had to make the sad decision to permanently close Finnerty’s.

We are gutted.

The last 11 years have gone by so quickly and we can barely believe it.

We still remember how proud we were when taking down the roll down security gate during opening renovation, making us one of the only bars in the area without one. We believed in the East Village and the neighborhood proved us right year after year. We thank you and hope you stay strong!

We always wanted to be a great sports bar but we never imagined we would become a home for Bay Area fans and expats living on the East Coast . What started as a small group of 49er fans on Sundays became something bigger than the bar itself.

Getting to host thousands of fans for playoff games, World Series trophy visits, and the decade of bus trips to Giants, Sharks, Warriors, and 49ers games has been one of the greatest and craziest honors imaginable. You are the best the fans in sports and getting to meet so many of you throughout the years has been our great privilege.

While shutting down operations in March 2020 due to Covid was one of the hardest things we’ve ever made, we knew it was the right decision for the safety of our staff and customers.

The pandemic striking the city just days before St Patrick’s Day and March Madness was a huge blow to us during what is typically our busiest month of the year.

Even with this, we still hoped to eventually reopen in some capacity. But unlike so many other catastrophes we have made it through, this was one disaster that forced people apart rather than together, and one that struck the heart of our industry.

Even in the best of times, the realities of the bar and restaurant industry in New York City make surviving, let alone prospering, a difficult undertaking. As lucky as we’ve been before, we weren’t immune to these realities this time.

The pandemic, along with being unable to reach an agreement with our landlord, forced our hand. There just wasn’t any way forward for us.

That being said, aside from our community, saying goodbye to our staff is the hardest part. Anyone who has been to Finnerty’s knows that we have a small and dedicated team that made Finnerty’s the special place it was for our customers. Finnerty’s wouldn’t have been Finnerty’s without them.

As disappointed and sad as we are at having to close our doors, all the emails, texts, tweets, letters, and phone calls wishing us well and offering us support have meant the world to us. It is still almost inconceivable to us that a little bar in New York City touched so many people both down the block and across the country.

While this is the end of Finnerty’s for now, we truly hope to share a drink with you all again soon. We’ll keep the bell polished and ready to ring again.

Stay strong, stay kind, and look after one another!

Dieter Seelig & Brian Stapleton

Owners of Finnerty’s

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