“With a heavy heart, we have to say goodbye to all customers who have entered our doors and danced the night away,” wrote Patrick McNamee on the Mean Fiddler’s Facebook page at midnight last night. “We have tried in vain to make a deal with the landlord but it wasn’t to be. This has been a roller coaster of a ride for me and my brother and all the staff. We have made many crazy and fun nights over the years.”

The Mean Fiddler staff welcome sailors during Fleet Week in 2019

The Mean Fiddler joins a growing list of bars and restaurants in midtown that have tried to reopen and then close. This week we reported on the Grand Central Oyster Bar that had opened its doors again for just 12 days before shuttering again.

Mean Fiddler is part of the PMac Hospitality Group run by brothers Michael and Patrick McNamee. They also own Tanner Smith’s, Vida Verde and Dutch Fred’s, The Three Monkeys and Haswell Greens in the area.

We spoke to McNamee by phone this morning. He told us: “The landlord wants us to keep on paying full rent and taxes. We’re making a $45k loss per month. It’s the same landlords as the Copacabana that had to close down earlier in the pandemic.” We have asked BLDG Management, the landlord, for comment.

Meanwhile, the McNamees have had a much more sympathetic response from landlords at their other bars. “We’ve managed to find workable deals at all the other bars, it’s tough but we feel we can keep the businesses going and our loyal workers employed. This has all been the perfect storm for the worst year!”

“I want to take this opportunity to thank all the people who have come through our doors from all corners of the world,” continued McNamee. “I have no regrets as it’s all happy memories. I hate leaving here but we have had an incredible 15 years and I will cherish them forever.”

The Mean Fiddler has been the hotspot for Halloween for the last 15 years.

The McNamees are keeping the doors open for the next 10 days and are encouraging regulars “if you’re in the area please stop in and say goodbye”.

Michael McNamee says an emotional farewell to his staff and customers with a pint of Guinness

“I wish that I could go back for one night and have a Fiddler night,” finished McNamee referring to the indoor restrictions. “But we will have to keep that on hold till the next chapter is opened.”

Over one-thousand message from all over the world have been added to the Facebook post, confirming their popularity with tourists. “The best night out I’ve had was at your guys place,” said Rachel Newton from the UK. “So sad to hear of this, I was so looking forward to returning once everything has calmed down here in the UK. What a shame, best wishes and positive thoughts to you all! Good luck on your next venture!”

Amy Cavaliere said: “So very sad to hear this. The Mean Fiddler played an integral role in so many of my best NYC memories. It started with two surprise parties (one with a surprise guest), many New Year’s Eves, bachelorette parties, college reunions, St Patrick’s days, and always a stop on every night out in the city. NYC is losing a great place. We will forever remember our nights there and you will be missed greatly!”

“Nooooo!! This is my fave bar in the whole world!! 😰 This Aussie has been here many times over the last 10 years,” lamented Amber Pauley from Australia. “I’ve even won a Mean Fiddler T-shirt for a dancing contest!! I’ve danced on your bar, sang Karaoke and met some good looking boys both locals and travelers over this time. I tell everyone to go here when they visit NY. I’m devastated it won’t be there when they finally let us travel again.”

The McNamees have put out an appeal for photos taken at the bar. Submit your pictures here.

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