Old New York New York, a U.S. 19 nightclub that catered to an older crowd, has shut its doors after nearly 30 years of operation.
According to official records, the club, which was at in Clearwater, opened in 1984. Since then, it played host to an often overlooked segment of the populace — people older than 40 who still enjoyed going out for a night of drinking and dancing.
"I have been going there for over 20 years, so I'm really going to miss it," a former patron Laurine said. "But I'm looking forward to moving to the new place."
The place she is referring to is the , another Clearwater institution
"We've brought in the whole family from New York New York — bartenders, the DJ, the band and the patrons," Banana Boat general manager Angelo Prosetopoulos said. "We told the regulars that... we've got a home for you. We're a bar that's inviting the New York New York entity into us."
To that end, officials at Banana Boat went so far as to purchase the liquor license, the old Big Apple sign, and even the rights to the name from the previous owner of New York New York.
According to Banana Boat proprietor Bobby Venniro, the club had to close because the property owner wants to put a new retail development on the land that is right in the .
So Venniro purchased all the important aspects of the landmark nightspot in hopes that the loyal customers will migrate a few miles south to his bar.
"Tell people if they're wondering what happened to New York New York, it's at the Banana Boat, and all the customers followed," Venniro said.