Daddy-O — the popular West Village beatnik dive bar that was known for serving regional food from western New York and for being a favorite hangout spot for local chefs — has permanently closed after more than 20 years. Owner Phil Casaceli confirmed the news to Eater but did not provide any additional details.
The bar, located at the corner of Leroy and Bedford Streets, was initially open for takeout after the shutdown on dining in went into effect on March 16. However the bar closed for good on April 30.
This Rochester, New York-inspired bar opened in the West Village in 1999 and quickly established a reputation as the go-to spot for comfort food and a wide selection of drinks in the neighborhood. Rochester native Casaceli was instrumental in crafting the menu and the whiskey selection at the restaurant.
The bar was known for serving up hard-to-find food in NYC, particularly several Western New York specialities like the “garbage plate,” an eye-popping dish composed of one red and white Zweigle’s hot dog each (or two hamburgers), macaroni salad, fries, all topped with a spicy beef sauce, mustard, and chopped red onions. Equally popular were the bar’s Buffalo-style wings, grilled hot dogs covered in chili, raw onions, and grainy mustard, and a burger that reportedly drove meat purveyor Pat LaFrieda crazy trying to perfect it to Casaceli’s tastes.
Bar goers frequented the place in equal measure for its massive liquor collection: more than 100 American whiskeys along with a wide selection of Irish and Japanese whiskies. Drinks from Rochester were also available including the Genesee Cream Ale.
The somber interior composed of dark wood and black leather belied a lively atmosphere with the bar staying open every single day of the year except for Christmas until 4 a.m., according to Daddy-O’s website — another reason that made it popular among local restaurant employees who could come in and have a drink after their shifts.
“It was truly a neighborhood spot where you could go for pretty much any occasion with your friends,” says Joey Bylebyl, a customer at the bar who alerted Eater about the closure. “We used to go there to catch up on the week, watch a sports game, and eat some solid bar food.”
Daddy-O now joins several iconic NYC establishments that have been forced to shutter since the start of the pandemic with restaurant losses and customer spending dropping to historic lows. In the last month alone, Keith McNally’s 31-year-old French-American bistro Lucky Strike closed, as did pioneering cocktail spot Pegu Club, and trailblazing coffee haunt Gimme Coffee.
UPDATE 5/6/20 5:00 p.m.: A previous version of this article said the bar appeared to have closed. The owner has since confirmed the closure but declined to provide additional information at this time.