Old Town

BY CHANI GATTO-BRADSHAW
The bar looked out of place – rightly so, it’s been around since 1892 and its authenticity is evident. The outside paneled glass is a hundred years old, the décor is made up of wood siding, ancient tiles and posters from the early 90s, and the toilet in the washroom looks extremely out of place. It is an impressive survival story in a city where very few buildings are not torn down let alone left in their original condition. Over lunch David Freeland explained that the reason this bar survived the days of prohibition was the simple fact that it didn’t practice prohibition. Its “friendship” with the city pulled it through the struggle many bars faced and gave it a head start in the vicious race of survival.
Change is necessary especially in a highly populated city. Sometimes the demolition of old buildings doesn’t sound pleasant but when certain a place like Old Town survives, it survives for a reason.
The place is still using human powered dumbwaiters, lacks wheelchair accessibility and uses steam to heat the rooms. It is a time travel experience with one exception: the music. Once I settled into this impressively antique bar, ordered my food and relaxed I noticed a song I really enjoyed playing at a significant volume throughout the building. Sean Paul. This put so much into perspective for me and I realized that this is what New York is all about; the old and the new, the conventional and unconventional all coming together over lunch.


Leave a Reply