Jimmy's Corner, the classic Midtown dive bar beloved by locals, is reopening today for the first time since the start of the pandemic. It will also be the first time the bar has reopened since the death of its longtime owner and namesake, Jimmy Glenn, who died of COVID-19 in May 2020.
"It's obviously joyous, because this is a very special place, but also very sad because it's the first time this bar in its nearly 50 years of existence has been open without Jimmy being a presence," bartender Mike Doherty, who has worked at the bar for about two and a half years, told Gothamist on Monday.
Doherty, who works the bar on weekdays, was a longtime Jimmy's regular who "always loved and appreciated" the place, and ended up taking over for a bartender who had worked there for 20+ years. He noted that there was a soft opening last Friday for friends and neighbors which was "fantastic," and that the bar isn't too concerned about there being less foot traffic in Midtown these days.
"We're a destination, a special place—people come here to be here," he said.
The bar is located at 140 W 44th St, and with Broadway reopened, they'll still get that post-theater crowd.
As for today's official opening, he added, "It's gonna be a hell of a day. We have about 8-10 regulars now, but we know it's gonna ramp up all day long."
Glenn, a former boxing trainer who has been inducted into both the New Jersey and New York boxing halls of fame, opened the bar on West 44th Street in 1971. Some scenes in Raging Bull were filmed at Jimmy's Corner, and everyone from Frank Sinatra to Michael Jordan reportedly have been there. When it opened, the bar was located just a few blocks away from his other business, Times Square Boxing Club, where Glenn occasionally trained his friend Muhammad Ali.
In an Instagram post, Jimmy's Corner wrote that they're taking the city’s vaccine mandate seriously and asking patrons to as well, especially “out of respect for [Glenn’s] passing.”