The popular commuter bar Tracks Raw Bar & Grill — known by its frequenters as Tracks Bar — will be one of several victims of a massive Penn Station construction project, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Construction on a new entrance to the transit hub will shutter ten businesses, including a Jamba Juice, a McDonald’s, and a Dunkin’ Donuts. But most of the outcry on social media has been about Tracks, a beloved bar with raw seafood that was a rare gem in the bustling station.
Opening in 2003 next to the window that sells tickets to the Long Island Rail Road, Tracks is a long and narrow bar littered with train-related memorabilia. It regularly fills up for happy hour and houses loyal regulars, who the New York Times once claimed are willing to miss a train just for some time here. One of those regulars told the Times that all he does is nod to one of the long-time bartenders to order his usual gin and tonic.
It’s often seen as a chiller, more approachable answer to Grand Central Oyster Bar. In addition to drinks, there’s the raw bar with oysters, crab, clams, and more seafood. There’s also burgers and sandwiches and other seafoody, casual fare like fish and chips and clam pasta.
Construction on the new Penn Station entrance starts next week, part of a $600 million renovation for a new entrance, but Tracks and the other impacted businesses will remain open until August 31. There’s no word yet on whether it will be able to return when construction is complete.
Here’s what people are saying about the impending closure:
Tracks is a great restaurant. It’s actually one is the best raw bars in the city. It’s a shame that it’s closing. It may be the only good restaurant / watering hole in penn station. I was introduced to tracks a few years ago by a dear friend. I will miss Tracks! #Tracks— John Bolony (@bolony) June 14, 2019
Tracks is a transit hub bar cathedral. All are welcome. Rangers fans next to union workers next to lawyers next to millenials. A hidden gem because of it fresh seafood, memorabilia, and friendly and fast service. Hope they return when the construction is done.— Charles T. Burton (@NJCharles) June 14, 2019
A big downside to the Penn Station renovations, at least for commuters who like to grab a beer or three before getting on the LIRR or NJTransit: Tracks is set to close https://t.co/iY4UXX3w90— katie honan (@katie_honan) June 13, 2019
First they took away your beverage carts. Then they came for Tracks. The MTA is Satan incarnate. https://t.co/wtlTypRzrh— Kevin J. Ryan (@wheresKR) June 14, 2019
This is devastating news, please respect my privacy during this difficult time. https://t.co/kCeV0lwYQg— Sara Vilkomerson (@Vilkomerson) June 14, 2019
Gee, the plan to fix up Penn Station means destroying things people genuinely use, for the sake of vague aesthetic improvements, who would have guessed https://t.co/lLHbLol6kE— Tom Scocca (@tomscocca) June 14, 2019
Wait this is truly a sad day. Lay me down on the Tracks.— Vincent Barone (@vinbarone) June 14, 2019