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Literary Institution the Half King Will Close Next Month After 18 Years in Chelsea

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The pub has provided journalism and literary programming since 2000

The Half King The Half King/Facebook

The Half King, the journalist-backed restaurant and bar near the High Line known for its readings and photography shows, will close at the end of January after 18 years.

Journalists Sebastian Junger and Scott Anderson along with filmmaker Nanette Burstein write in the announcement notice that “times have changed and we can no longer avoid financial reality.” Junger, Anderson, and Burstein plan to frequent the bar through its last few weeks.

Since its opening in 2000, the Half King has served as a neighborhood pub with burgers, wings, and a popular daily happy hour. But beyond the typical bar fare and drinks, the restaurant became a destination for writers, journalists, and people in the publishing and film industries. The bar hosts a popular reading series on Mondays as well as other literary and photography events, including slideshows of photojournalism.

As such, since the closure’s announcement on Twitter, writing world luminaries, fans, and regulars have been reacting to the news and posting eulogies on social media:

The closure comes on the heels of another major restaurant shutter for the literary and publishing world, West Village’s Cornelia Street Cafe, which closes on January 2 after over four decades of readings, art shows, and performances. Chelsea has seen a spate of neighborhood joint closures this year, including Red Cat, Co., and Trestle on Tenth. The Half King will join them at the end of January.

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