Flaming bar on market: Site for sale, but Hank’s will stay

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A building housing a legendary, century-old Atlantic Avenue bar that was once so popular with Mohawk Indian ironworkers that it became an informal union hall is for sale.

Hank’s, which is just the latest incarnation of the tavern at the corner of Atlantic and Third avenue, now has a “For Sale” sign above its flame-covered façade — though the building’s owners promise that the bar will return to the ground floor once nearly a dozen apartments are built above it

“We want to keep Hank’s and make it bigger with a new music room,” said Rolf Grimsted, who owns the building with Emily Fisher. “But the first step is getting [partners to invest in] a new building with room for a bar and 10 loft-style condos.”

Fisher and Grimsted say the “For Sale: Development Site” sign — like so many similar signs hanging in a neighborhood that is experiencing a housing boom right now — shouldn’t worry the saloon’s loyal patrons, who have been pounding back Pabst Blue Ribbons since even before Hank’s was Doray Tavern, the pub with the motto, “Where Good Friends Meet.”

The same vintage wood bar will occupy the new space, Grimsted said, but regulars and the waitresses who serve them believe the bar’s days are numbered.

“When it reopens it won’t be the same,” said Jeannie Talierco, a bartender for 13 years.

History has certainly been kind to the establishment, which makes a cameo in “The Mohawks in High Steel,” a famous story by New Yorker writer Joseph Mitchell, who charted the rise and fall of the Native American ironworker community that was centered around Atlantic and Third avenues a half-century ago.

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