Uptown stogie haven Lexington Bar & Books could go up in smoke after failing to work out a deal with its landlord.
The NYC smoking ban began in 2003 and some bars were grandfathered in, but we’re told a license is attached to the location. A spokesman for the bar, David Wilder, explains, “landlords have long used the current restriction on moving tobacco bar licenses to extract exorbitant commercial rents.” He claims the landlord has “showed us no mercy or relief.”
The spot, that’s been at the same location since the ’90s, has had customers including Sean Penn, Kiefer Sutherland and Rudy Giuliani. The bar left the space April 30, but we’re told owner Raju Mirchandani is petitioning local pols for help “getting a dispensation so we can get our [tobacco] license.”
“I know some people say ‘yuck’ when you say smoking, but it’s a part of the city’s history,” Wilder said. “At one time there was smoking everywhere. Gradually these places are going, going, gone, basically. These places represent pre-Bloomberg New York.”