Beloved Bushwick watering hole Cain’s Tavern is closing at the end of August, and regulars say they’re bummed to be losing a neighborhood hangout where everyone knows your name.
“It’s just one of one of those places where you can go after work and just hang out,” said Jimmy Craig, a Bedford–Stuyvesant resident. “Since everyone sees it that way, you end up with a lot of familiar faces any time you go.”
Owners Stevie Cain and Aaron Augenblick broke the news of the bar’s impending closure on its Facebook last week. They claim the landlord wants to hike up their rent up by 500 percent, which they can’t afford to pay. The landlord denied that was the case.
The husband-and-wife team opened Cain’s at Wilson Avenue and George Street in 2011, and patrons say a tight-knit community quickly formed inside.
The bar became best known for its “leave a friend a drink” chalkboard, where customers can buy a beverage for absent pals, who then claim the freebie the next time they come in.
Bushwick has changed rapidly in recent years, with rents rising as young folks move further along the L line. Cain’s regulars say they are sad to see the bar become a casualty of the neighborhood’s success, as it is becoming increasingly difficult to find unpretentious, low-key haunts in the area.
“It’s a real shame to see this place go,” said Finley Bomer-Larson, a former Bushwick resident who still comes back to hang out at Cain’s. “It’s not easy to find a home-base kind of bar, especially the way in this neighborhood is going.”
The bar will pour its last beer on Aug. 22. The owners say they are looking for a new home for the bar, but they have not found anywhere yet.
Cain’s Tavern [36 Wilson Ave. at George Street in Bushwick, (718) 326–2663, www.cains