Two very different bars with two very different clienteles have unexpectedly closed today. The worst news first: Blue and Gold Tavern, the venerable East Village dive with the pool table and the booths and the underage drinking, is no more. Fork in the Road reports that it's been completely gutted from floor to ceiling, and workers doing the renovations were not sure if Blue and Gold would re-open. And if even if it does, "it'll certainly be a different animal."

UPDATE: Sorry for the scare; apparently it's all good. According to The Blue and Gold management, they are simply soundproofing the ceiling "and the bar will reopen by Thursday May 13th. To do a proper soundproofing job the old ceiling needs to be removed. The rest of the bar is not being gutted. Heavy duty plastic is protecting the walls, bar and pool table."

Meanwhile, the perennially trendy subterranean lounge La Esquina (accessed through the "secret" door in the ground floor cafe) is in trouble with the Buildings Department, which has "determined that conditions in this premises are imminently perilous to life." According to Grub Street, signs are up on the windows declaring, in no uncertain terms, that "it is hereby ordered that all persons occupying any part or parts of the structure located at CELLAR LEVEL (EATING AND DRINKING ESTABLISHMENT) vacate such… parts of the premises forthwith."

It seems inspectors are alarmed about the "wood combustible ceilings and inadequate Egress (illegal Egress through intervening spaces on 1st floor)." Good to know it only took the DOB five years to clear everybody out of that firetrap... Sounds like someone's envelope was a little "light" this month.