NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — An iconic bar and restaurant that has been a part of the landscape in Washington Heights for more than 30 years will have to shutter in the spring due to rising rent.

Back in 1985, the neighborhood was in major disrepair, but the owners of Coogan’s believed in it and said Washington Heights would be their home and they thrived.

But now the owners said Coogan’s is being forced to close because NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, which owns the property, is raising their rent by $40,000 per month.

Restaurant partner Peter Walsh said staying open is just not possible.

“Guess what we would have to charge for the hamburger?” Walsh said. “I’m an old-fashioned person with fait accompli and I see the writing on the wall and institutions make decisions and they don’t hear the knocking on the door.”

The famed eatery will close in May.

“I hope you felt as warm as I did by walking in here. They made me happy, they gave me warmth, they gave me a purpose in my life,” Walsh said in a message to his customers. “Thank you for putting sneakers on my children, which they did.”

To their landlord, Walsh says, “There’s community here, don’t build walls. Don’t pull a plug so fast on a person when they’re still breathing.”

The hospital did not comment.


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