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Regular customer Bianca Jebbia, wearing a giant white tutu, stands on top of the bar at Gotham
Regular customer Bianca Jebbia, wife of Supreme founder James Jebbia, stands on the bar at Gotham on the last night

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Inside the Rowdy, Crowded Final Night of Gotham Bar and Grill

Despite official guidance to limit large gatherings, the last night of the legendary fine dining restaurant brought out dozens of regulars, who sat elbow-to-elbow

After 36 years, Greenwich Village institution Gotham Bar and Grill shuttered its doors after one final service on Saturday night.

Despite warnings from the city and state that all restaurants should operate at 50 percent of fire code capacity over the weekend to slow the spread of COVID-19, and the thousands of people dying from the virus worldwide, nothing stopped regulars of all ages from packing the house completely full; one diner even brought a baby to the bar. People ordered one last burger, while staff poured high-end wines freely, including a Champagne that would have sold for $1,270. At one point, the bar was three people deep, with one person chugging directly out of a bottle of whiskey.

While all restaurants around the city have now been forced to temporarily close as of 8 p.m. tonight, Gotham will not be reopening — making it one of the first permanent closings of this pandemic that may see many more in the coming weeks. See images from the final night.

Maitre’d Alex Baker greets a diner with an elbow bump, both wearing suits.

Maitre’d Alex Baker greets a diner with an elbow bump.

A crowded dining room with white tablecloths and overhead lighting. People sit at every table, as servers walk through the room.

A completely packed house. One diner was overheard asking, “Is this correct social distancing?”

Executive chef Victoria Blamey, wearing a white chef’s shirt, stands at the bottom of a staircase, looking out.

Executive chef Victoria Blamey, who took over the kitchen in April, shuffled from the kitchen to the dining room several times as she played the dual roles of chef and host on the restaurant’s last night.

People crowd a bar that is lined with several wine bottles and an empty baby bottle. A woman also feeds a baby with a bottle.

Drinkers of all ages crowded the bar, drinking wine and milk from bottles.

A man clears wine glasses from a round table packed with bottles and glasses.

Five people stand in a circle and cheers their wine glasses.
Wine director Josh Lit, wearing a suit, opens a bottle of Champagne, as a man drinks a glass.

Wine director Josh Lit kept opening increasingly expensive bottles as the night wore on. “I built this program and it’s going down with me,” he said as he opened a bottle of Salon champagne that would have sold for $1,270 at the restaurant. He passed the bottle around for diners to try.

A thin man with a white shirt eats ice cream directly from a metal container.

As the last dishes went out, the kitchen staff started eating the remaining food. Here, sous chef Omri Silberstein eats ice cream directly out of the container.

Two line cooks stand in the kitchen, with one resting her arm on the other.

Line cook Jessamine Raposas and sous chef Alice Paradis after the last plates went out.

A bottle of 1970 Giacomo Conterno gets uncorked.

Lit opens a bottle of 1970 Giacomo Conterno that would have sold for $970. One diner said it “tastes like a used tampon.”

Four people from the kitchen team of Gotham cover their faces and smile as they have their photograph taken.

Blamey and her team share a moment after being photographed by her boyfriend, noted food photographer Evan Sung.

Regular customer Bianca Jebbia, wife of Supreme founder James Jebbia, wears a large white tutu while saying goodbye to the kitchen staff

Regular customer Bianca Jebbia, wife of Supreme founder James Jebbia, says goodbye to the kitchen staff

Two staffers hug in the kitchen of Gotham Bar and Grill

One last moment in the kitchen.

An empty dining room with many white tablecoth tables, including two with empty wine glasses and bottles. Gary He/Eater

Gary He is a photojournalist based in New York City.

Gotham Bar and Grill

12 East 12th Street, Manhattan, NY 10003 (212) 620-4020 Visit Website

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