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Continental Bar, home of NYC's cheapest drink special, is closing

Uncommonly beloved for a dive bar (with a punk rock past), Continental Bar will close because of — what else? — redevelopment.
Continental Bar will close in August 2018. Credit: Lincy S., Yelp
Continental Bar will close in August 2018. Credit: Lincy S., Yelp

Another relic of the East Village's punk past — not to mention the pre-partying destination of the neighborhood — is getting plowed under.

Best known for its longtime five shots for $10 special (recently raised to $12), Continental Bar will close in August 2018 when its building at 25 Third Ave. is demolished to make way for redevelopment.

"It is with heavy heart that I have to inform everyone that Continental has less than a year left," owner Trigger Smith writes on the bar’s website.

"It's truly heartbreaking that we and so many Old Skool places are falling by the wayside but unless you own your building that's how it goes."

He thanked the owners of the building “for treating me like family” and keeping the rent affordable, asking his patrons, “Don't hate my landlords. They're older now, got a great deal and I can't blame them and I want to thank them.”

Despite the eulogy, Smith didn’t entirely close the door on Continental. “P.S. if we're very, very busy for the remainder, it's possible that we'll have the funds to relocate!!!” So if you’re an of-age college student or want to test if you can still party like one, get to Continental soon.

After bartending his way through college, Smith has owned Continental for 27 years, from its start as a rock bar where The Ramones and Iggy Pop performed to its evolution into the only dive bar to be mentioned alongside clubs like Provocateur by the New York Times.

That five shots special — offered all day until the day they close — has made it a destination for 21st birthday bar crawls and fortifying yourself for whatever’s next, whether it’s live music on the Bowery, theater at St. Mark’s Place or loitering in Tompkins Square Park.

 
 
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