It’s the end of an era. On June 22, the Upper West Side’s Candle Bar will be serving its very last vodka cran. The roomy dive, located on Amsterdam Avenue near the corner of West 75th Street, is a popular destination for legions of locals, many of whom are older gay men who’ve been haunting the spot since it opened in the mid-1960s. The regulars are “family to each other,” says manager Amonte Demarko, 37. “It’s like a gay Cheers. Where will they go?”
Originally called Candelight Lounge, the space was owned and managed by Robert Ader until his death in 1985, at which point his sister Michelle grabbed the reins. Since Ader owned the four-story building attached to the bar, the business managed to stay afloat for years despite ever-increasing rents. Now, she’s sold that building (listed for $6.95 million), and the new owner has no interest in keeping the spot open.
In the meantime, Candle Bar will host some raucous closing parties June 19 through June 21. Last chance to play a boozy game of pool with Sheila E. blaring on the jukebox before the space becomes a TD Bank or Duane Reade or some such nonsense.