Classic dive bars — especially in gentrifying/gentrified neighborhoods — are holding on for dear life. Many have already succumbed to soaring rents. But one, the Holiday Cocktail Lounge in the East Village is rising from the dead, reports the Times. The bar, where W.H. Auden and Allen Ginsberg (and possibly Leon Trotsky) used to drink shuttered in 2012 and NYU was apparently eyeing the building. Robert Ehrlich, who founded (and ultimately sold) the company that produces the supposedly healthy cheese puffs known as Pirate's Booty, purchased it and initially planned to open a pub with fish and chips. But apparently he had a change of heart, and instead decided to preserve the Holiday with the help of Barbara Sibley, who owns La Palapa Cocina Mexicana next door.
The bar's been mostly cleaned out, but an old telephone booth and mural will remain, and so will the beat up red awning outside, which never came down. Bartenders Michael Neff (Ward III, Rum House) and his brother Danny (Bar Room, Extra Fancy) plan to revive some of the menu options like cheap shot and beer combos, but there will also be craft cocktails on the menu. "You have to honor the past without trying to duplicate it — that would be Disneyland," Michael told the Times.