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Cocktail Industry Favorite Suffolk Arms Shutters After Alleged Partner Dispute

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Co-owner Giuseppe González has a history of falling out with partners

Suffolk Arms
Photo via Yelp/Suffolk Arms

Industry favorite (and notoriously hard-to-work-with) cocktail maestro Giuseppe González appears to have had another fall out with a partner. His cocktail bar Suffolk Arms, located on the border of East Village and LES, has closed. As previously reported, the bar had gone dark in the first week of April, and according to Neat Pour, the shutter is a result of a dispute between González and co-owner Ruben Rodriguez.

The bar opened in February 2016 and featured an extensive cocktail list with more than 50 options, alongside a small American menu. Sketched portraits of influential New Yorkers like James Baldwin, Grandmaster Flash, and Whoopi Goldberg decorated the walls and menus.

Despite his reputation with business partners, González is a talented barman who is highly regarded in the industry. According to Neat Pour, attempts to remove him as a partner at Suffolk Arms failed due to “staff’s loyalty to the charismatic bartender.”

The bar has since removed all of its previous photos from Instagram and posted a farewell note that’s also now on its website. A quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson (“Patience and fortitude conquer all things”) is followed by a vague message that sounds like it was worded by Yoda: “Closed, Suffolk Arms now is. See you again, we will.” González’s love of Star Wars is mentioned in the Grub Street profile of the bartender.

González previously made a name for himself in the cocktail world at high profile bars like Pegu Club, Dutch Kills, and Clover Club, and the same Grub Street profile notes his notorious knack for falling out with partners. “I have nothing nice to say about Giuseppe González, so I’m afraid that I am going to have to take the high road and plead the Fifth,” a former business partner told Grub Street at the time.

Neat Pour reports that two employees say the bar will reopen with a new concept but the same staff on an unspecified date. Eater NY has reached out to the bar for more information.

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