Much-lauded LES tiki bar PKNY's days of serving flaming drinks and fresh pina coladas are numbered, it seems; the establishment is reportedly closing its doors for good at the end of July. Owner Richard Boccato told the Times that the landlord chose not to renew the bar's lease, and he plans to open a new, totally different tiki bar elsewhere in the city in the future.
The Essex Street drinking hole has had its share of trouble since it opened in May 2010; initially, it was named Painkiller after a signature rum cocktail trademarked by Pusser's Rum, but was sued by the company and had to change its name in 2011. PKNY also had a little Health Department shakeup after an inspection two years ago, in which it racked up a hefty 101 violation points.
But we were blown away by the bar's funky Polynesian street-style theme and fresh-squeezed frozen cocktails when it first opened, and recent visits proved just as good. Though, we did learn not to nosh on the carved-out pineapples in which the drinks were served, because you will cut your lip somehow, and the combination of the alcohol and the fruit juice will make your mouth look like something Lisa Rinna paid for.
Boccato and his team, who also run Long Island City bar Dutch Kills, say they've got plans in the works for a tiki bar called Asphalt Jungle, which Boccato says will have "a new identity in a new location." "We’d actually be happier bringing our bar to Brooklyn or Queens, where we’re from and have had some success with other ventures," Boccato said. "We don’t have to be in a fancy ZIP code in order to create a great atmosphere for people to get great drinks."
PKNY will end its run around July 22nd, so you've still got some time to try out a Scorpion Bowl before they're gone from the LES forever.