Residents of the transforming Brooklyn neighborhood, a peninsula surrounded by water, saw a grim look at its future on the citys floodplain after Hurricane Sandy in 2012
The party at Bait & Tackle didnt look like a funeral. The bar was packed with people double-fisting drinks and dancing. But every now and then you caught someone go quiet, stare at the ceiling, take a deep breath and sigh, eyes glimmering.
Its a lot to take in, said a woman to a friend standing next to her. Where are you gonna go for happy hour now? she asked.
I dont know, her friend answered. Nowhere.
A grey-haired man behind the bar gave a bottle of vodka to a customer who knocked back its last dregs. Barry OMeara was not just the bartender he also owned the place, which he had opened 14 years ago. But on 27 January 2018, it was coming to an end. OMeara would close Bait & Tackle for good.
Until then, Bait & Tackle had been a neighborhood bar in Red Hook, Brooklyn. OMeara was shutting it down because the neighborhood was not what it used to be. The people moving to Red Hook the new people, he said were displacing his customers, who could no longer afford their rent.
And the people moving in dont frequent establishments like this, OMeara said. So thats it.