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Despite Another NIMBY Lawsuit, Chumley's Vows to Reopen Before Fall

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Can the speakeasy legend finally make its comeback?

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For years, Prohibition-era speakeasy and legendary literary hangout Chumley's has been fighting the good fight against some cantankerous Greenwich Village NIMBYs in an effort to reopen. It's been a slow road, but now owner Jim Miller's lawyer promises the blessed event will finally happen "before the fall," reports the Post. Unfortunately, certain resistant locals aren't going to let that happen without a fight, despite the fact that they already lost one attempt to block the bar from reopening.

The bar, which opened in 1922, closed down in 2007 when construction next door forced a wall of the bar to collapse. Since then, neighbors have been waging war against the bar. A group of neighbors who called themselves Bar Free Bedford first sued Chumley's and the SLA over a year ago, claiming there was no reason for the bar to return to its original home and that if it reopened, it would be a noisy nuisance to the neighborhood. They lost that battle last summer because, in the words of judge Barbara Jaffe: "Some degree of noise, tension and discomfort is the inevitable concomitant of ­urban life."

But now that same group is appealing that decision, and trying a new angle. Last week, 50 neighbors sued the bar and the city again, alleging that a business loses its right to be grandfathered into a location if it has been closed for more than two years. By that law, they say, Chumley's should never have been allowed to begin reconstruction. Meanwhile, the bar's lawyer says construction is moving "full steam ahead." Unfortunately, this is something we've heard before. Hopefully it's for real this time.

Chumley's

86 Bedford Street, Manhattan, NY 10014 (212) 675-2081 Visit Website

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