Pour one out for the old O'Connor's: Open since 1933, the inimitable Park Slope dive has long been a beloved oasis of unpretentious boozing, its duct-taped booths inspiring (or at least lubricating) the muse of songwriter Elliot Smith. Now Here's Park Slope reports that O'Connor's is closed for extensive renovations, and when it reopens, it's probably not going to have the same humble, dilapidated charm. Founder Patrick O'Connor died in 2006, and current owner Mike Maher has plans to reopen the joint as a sports bar with a full dining menu, a new back room, and a private event space on the second floor.
The bar's phone has been disconnected, and we've been unable to reach Maher for comment. But last year Maher said he was "modernizing the room, but a priority is to keep the old look” and promised that he'd be “saving the bar and the booths and as much of the room as we can." He also speculated that “the O'Connor family would be happy with what we're doing here." It's worth noting, of course, that the bar is located a stone's throw from the impending Barclays Center, and everyone wants to get a piece of that action. Something tells us duct-taped stools in a dark and foreboding booze cave isn't going to appeal to Streisand fans like this.