We've been preparing for this day but it still stings like that first shot of hot train gin after a long work day: the Metro-North bar cars are no more. The MTA will decommission the final four bar cars in its fleet this week as they get ready to switch over to the new M-8 trains on the New Haven line. Gone will be the hokey plastic cup holders and faux-wood bar tops; in its place, larger seats and digital stop readouts. And so the Era of the Flask begins.

Rumors of the bar car's demise began in 2010, when the MTA introduced the new fleet of sleeker trains. There were glimmers of hope that the bar cars would live on, even if it meant a more streamlined design that would have eliminated the forced mingling of the '70s-era models.

Instead, the on-board booze program has been nixed all together, with just a vague "consideration" about retrofitting some of the new cars to operate as bars or perhaps create new, dedicated bar cars. “But there is no funding currently in place to do either option," Connecticut Department of Transportation communications director Judd Everhart told PIX 11. With on-board gross bar revenue at just $357,000 last year, we're not holding on breath for any special treatment.

The bar cars have been something of a unicorn for many Metro-North riders. I've taken the New Haven line to and from CT for 11 years and have only stumbled upon a bar car once. It was filled with middle-aged men, their shirtsleeves scrunched to their elbows as they played dice, shot back gin and tonics and loudly barked insults at each other. In short, it was magical. Tipplers can still bring booze on board, as the MTA didn't win the teetotaler battle and with revenue from platform bar carts totalling $6,733,000 last year, they're definitely safe for now.

(Bitch Cakes/Flickr)