NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — They were raising glasses Sunday afternoon in Washington Heights, after the famed Coogan’s Bar and Grill was saved.
But as WCBS 880’s Ethan Harp reported, the official celebration was bittersweet.
Coogan’s, on Broadway at 169th Street, had the feel of an early St. Patrick’s Day Sunday. Lin-Manuel Miranda’s family, lawmakers, and a social media blitz stopped NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital from jacking up the rent for the space by $40,000 a month.
“How could they not know what Coogan’s meant to this community?” said co-owner Dave Hunt.
But customers who came to the party, such as Laura Moore, know that the rescue of Coogan’s is a rarity. Plenty of other small businesses in the Big Apple face their own battles with far less attention.
“I only wanted to eat in chain restaurants and shop in malls and chain shops, I wouldn’t live in northern Manhattan,” Moore said.
U.S. Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D-New York) helped save Coogan’s and pleaded with neighbors.
“You’ve got come into all the local businesses and shop local — especially the mom and pop stores like this business,” he said. “Otherwise ,we’ll get a Hooters here or something like that.”
Lawmakers also called for city government to do something to turn things around, with talk of bills such as the Small Business Survival Act.