“Getting the shakes now, last call for drinks, bars closing down … Sun’s out. Where are we goin’ for breakfast?”
—Carlito Brigante (as played by Al Pacino), Carlito’s Way
“Don’t look so sad. I know its over. But life goes on and this old world will keep on turning. Lets just be glad we had some time to spend together …”
—Al Green, “For The Good Times”
In early December 2007, just a couple months after moving to New York City from Miami, I walked into what I viewed as an unremarkable Brooklyn dive bar to meet a friend for late night cocktails. I had no idea of the friendships that would be formed and experiences I was to have as a result of showing up that night at 80 Lafayette Avenue; I also never thought that nearly three and a half years later I would mourn its closing.
You see, I was a refugee in a strange, unfriendly land and, as it was the only place I’d become familiar with in my new surroundings, Moe’s Bar and Lounge served as a sort of safe haven. Over time, and innumerable pints of beer and shots of whisky and tequila, I got to know the motley bunch of people that I would come to regard as family. If you read any of the numerous eulogies dedicated to Moe’s, you’ll note that the word “family” is used quite a bit. Believe me when I tell you, these sentiments are not hyperbolic. This is a family that’s been around since Moe’s first opened its doors nearly a decade ago.