One of Park Slope’s great old man bars — a vestige of the old blue collar neighborhood — will close after more than 40 years on Fifth Avenue and 11th Street.
Timboo’s bar — where you can still score a bottle of beer for $3 — will shutter by the end of January for two reasons: The owners want to retire and they’re sick of harsh city inspections.
“The fines do get to you after a while,” said co-owner Tim Hodgens. “It’s kind of sad — but it’s just time to go.”
In its place, owners of Lowlands — a beer bar with live music on Third Avenue — will open a new watering hole, he said.
Hodgens — who goes by “Timmy” — and his friend Bobby Booras named the place after themselves in 1969. It soon became a hub for Irish immigrants and iron workers, where folks sang songs alongside an old piano.
Hodgens’s daughter Tara Schneider remembers roller skating around the bar as a child, back when it was “a major family place” — and kids still played stickball outside the bar.
In the 1980s, Timboo’s became a mainstay for football games. The New York Press eventually named it, “The best bar in Brooklyn,” though that honor was a good 12 years ago now.
But even as Fifth Avenue became popular — and fancy nightlife sprouted nearby — prices at Timboo’s stayed low and regulars stayed loyal.
“The whole area changed around it,” said regular John O’Hara, the legal legend and Charles Hynes victim who hosted a Christmas party at the joint last Wednesday night. “But the place still feels like it’s in black and white.”
Bartender Betty Collins, who has worked there a decade, added: “Old-timers feel comfortable here. They don’t like those new, expensive places.”
In the past three years, however, the Health Department increased fines and began ticketing more frequently, owners said. That — coupled with a chance to retire — nudged Hodgens out the door. He said he’ll likely move to Florida.
Timboo’s Bar [477 Fifth Ave. at 11th Street in Park Slope, (718) 788-9782].Reach reporter Natalie O'Neill at noneill@cn
©2011 Community News Group
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