Syracuse beer mecca shutting down

19 Sep

SYRACUSE, NY — The expansion of the Landmark Theatre is coming at the expense of a famous Armory Square drinking spot.

Clark’s Ale House, which last year was included in All About Beer magazine’s global list of the “top 125 places to have a beer before you die,” will be closing after next Saturday, September 25. Owner Ray Clark says the decision comes because the theater, which houses the bar at 122 West Jefferson Street, needs the space for its planned expansion project even though Clark’s lease has another two years to go.

In a written statement, Clark explained, “I and my crew would love to keep serving Syracuse ‘til the end of Clark’s legitimate legal lease — 8-22-12 — but I must do the right thing and not fight the troubled Landmark Theatre and let them go ahead with their massive expansion, as it should be good for Syracuse.” He said he has no immediate plans.

Clark’s has no music, no TV sets, but its English-style atmosphere offers darts, board games and the like. Among the accolades it has garnered in its 18-year existence:

• 2 of a possible 2 stars and inclusion among the top 100 beer bars in the U.S. by American Demographics Magazine.
• No. 16 rating out of 1,700 beer bars in the U.S. twice by the Beer Travelers Guide.
• 4 of a possible 4 stars from the Beer Lovers Guide to the USA.
• One of the top 200 beer bars in the U.S. and one of the top 15 in the Northeast by Draft Magazine in 2009.
• One of the top 150 beer bars in the U.S. by Draft Magazine this year.

The $16 million renovation of the Landmark Theatre is expected to begin soon, and take about a year. The auditorium and stage will be closed to events until the fall of 2011, although its ornate lobby will remain open for special events. The goal is enlarging the facility to allow the presentation of Broadway-type shows. Seating will remain just shy of 3,000.

Check out my New York Drinks Events Calendar, the most comprehensive you’ll find anywhere.

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Posted by on September 19, 2010 in Bar/Tavern/Lounge, Beer


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