Astoria, Bars
Jan 26, 2018

Did You Hear? Gilbey’s Bar on Broadway Is Closing

Bye bye Gilbey’s.

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Photo credit: Gilbey’s

Another one bites the dust—this time it’s Gilbey’s at 32-01 Broadway. Loyal patrons are lamenting its closure and curious about the reasons. (“Landlord raised their rent.” “No landlord wants to sell the building.”) They plan to give it a big sendoff on Saturday, February 24.

As for the landlord, the building is owned by Crescent Management Associates, LLC, who bought it back in June 2016; Eugene Lavin, Inc in New Jersey owned it before then.

This bar has been around for many decades, and in earlier times it was known as The Clover. Astorians shared memories of the place back when the bar changed its name from Gibney’s to Gilbey’s. I remember the consternation then. Here are some of the memories:

“Gilbey’s used to be called Gibney’s, and before it was a happening place, it was an old man’s bar. My grandfather used to take me there, and, lo and behold, there were kids there to play with too.” –user perachori

“When friends and I meet at Gilbey’s I like to say Meet me at The Clover, since that bar was named The Clover for decades, up through the mid-1990s, before it was Gibney’s, and then Gilbey’s (it was actually ‘Gibley’s’ for one day).” –user sorabji

“I remember Gilbey’s/Gibney’s when it was “The Clover”! I lived near there and went in there once after a Met game on a weeknight back in the late 1980s. It was the only time I set foot in there. In the late 1990s they renovated and changed the name and I went in there for a couple of times.” -user Chris

Gilbey’s was also written up in Time Out New York in a 2007 listicle of “After-work party bars“:

“The easy smile on Gilbey’s clean-cut and slightly bucktoothed barman conveys more Fenian authenticity than would be found in all the Upper East Side’s “Irish” bars combined. This local tavern shares the same strengths as the best pubs of the Irish countryside: an upbeat mood and a cozy, almost familial atmosphere. It’s the type of place where, on a karaoke night, one patron’s U2 ode might move his visiting mother to tears.

“TIP: If you’ve taken after-work drinks too far (as we often do) and find yourself staggering out of Gilbey’s, ravenous, at midnight, eschew the mediocre street-meat vendor across the road and head to 24-hour diner Michael’s one block to the east (33-17 Broadway, 718-726-7474). Its menu is expansive and the fare above average.”

The location of Gilbey’s is a pretty sweet spot on Broadway and no doubt the landlord has dollar signs in their eyes at the thought of selling the location to a developer. We’ve reached out to Gilbey’s to get more information on the closing and will update this post with that if/when we get it.

Farewell, Gilbey’s.

About Meg Cotner

Meg Cotner was trained as a harpsichordist and now works as a freelance writer and editor. She is the author of "Food Lovers' Guide to Queens," and is a skilled and avid home cook, baker, and preserver.

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