Hey, here's some good news: after a successful crowdfunding campaign, Tone Balzano Johansen has officially filed all the paperwork to keep Sunny's bar open.
Johansen had been trying to raise money so she could buy the building, a struggle that began when other relatives of former owner Sunny Balzano decided they wanted to sell the property. A court decision gave her until July 27th to raise enough money for a down payment, and Johansen, Sunny's former wife, was able to come in just under the wire with the paperwork to keep the legendary saloon under her control.
The happy ending to the saga was officially announced last night on the bar's Facebook page, where staff posted that it was "officially official" that Johansen had signed the deed for the building.
Tone Johansen, celebrating. (via Facebook)
"It's one of those things, for me personally, where I was like 'I cannot let this happen, I'm going to do everything in my power, I'm going to do everything I can, to save this place,'" Johansen told Gothamist about her crowdfunding effort back in April. "I feel like I'm cultivating a certain strain of culture that is attentive to the wild heart a little bit."
And so after 80 years, even in the age of Red Hoek Point, Sunny's will continue to thrive, having rewritten the usual New York story of beloved institutions getting the wrecking ball. Sometimes the world does you a kindness.
Sunny outside his bar and home. (Courtesy Tim Sultan)