Williamsburg dive bar Macri Park, a longtime favorite of those deterred by the lines at nearby Union Pool, closed abruptly last night, and will reportedly reopen as a gay bar on September 11th. In lieu of an official statement, the bar set out a chalkboard sign on Thursday that read, "Last day for Macri Park. Let's Drink."
According to Polaroid photographer Nick McManus, a longtime regular who documented the Macri staff in the bar's final hours, all bartenders, managers, and bouncers were informed yesterday at 3:00 p.m. that their jobs were about to be nullified. "Some of the staff was a little peeved," he said. "Just because they're changing the tone of the bar, why do they have to be fired?" He says that his friend Cheylene Sharkeye, who hosted her monthly Le Noize karaoke party at Macri, is also out of a gig.
Owner John McGillion, who also owns nearby dive Alligator Lounge, Lulu's, and the Charleston, among other bars, reportedly passed Macri to Steven McEnrue of Metropolitan, a popular gay bar that's been in the neighborhood since 2002. According to Next, the new space will have spotlights, a stage, and "club lighting" in addition to new furniture and DJ equipment.
Next transcribed McEnroe's Facebook post on the purchase, which has since been deleted:
Macri Park has joined the dark side. As of tomorrow, Friday, August 21, Macri Park will be Williamsburg's newest gay bar! I will be running my beloved Metropolitan as well as Macri, and I've got big plans for the space. I am beyond excited to be adding a sister bar one block away from Metro!
Earlier this year, McGillion tried to turn Lulu's into a gay bar, only to run into fine print in his lease that prohibited such a conversion.
McManus got a call from a Macri Park regular after midnight last night, and rushed over from Manhattan, where he had been shooting gallery openings. "We got everyone together as best we could during the final hours," he told us this morning. "The staff members smiled as best they could."
There was no response at Macri Park this afternoon. We will update with any further information.