1020 Bar Reopens “Under Brand-New Management”

inside 1020 Bar

Inside 1020 Bar. Photo by Bobby Panza.

Just a few months after a marshal’s legal possession notice was posted on the entrance to 1020 Bar at 1020 Amsterdam Ave. (and W. 110th St.), the popular but embattled local establishment announced its reopening.

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A December 4 Instagram post indicates the bar has “new owners” and is “under brand-new management.” It’s unclear who exactly the new management and/or owner is.

ILTUWS called 1020 Bar on December 30 and the man who answered the phone shouted something several times, unintelligibly. Before we could even introduce ourselves, he said, “You don’t understand? F-ck you” and hung up.

We’ve tried to contact them through social media as well, but the bar has not responded to our requests for comment.

However, a former employee told ILTUWS that “the famous owner who was the problem here is now gone,” referring to Michael McKiernan.

Michael McKiernan 1020 Bar

Michael McKiernan outside 1020 Bar in 2021. Photo by Bobby Panza.

McKiernan is the subject of numerous allegations of abuse which were widely publicized after a 2021 Columbia Spectator report. The piece revealed allegations of sexual harassment against McKiernan, particularly towards female employees and bar patrons, many of whom were Columbia University students.

On more than one occasion, McKiernan reportedly attempted to woo female employees to his apartment above the bar. The original story cites one incident in which McKiernan reportedly met a student and bar employee at the door in his underwear.

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Following the 2021 report, the bar has struggled to maintain customers – particularly Columbia students – according to a former employee and regular patron.

The bar closed in August of 2023 due to issues including an inability to pay both rent and distributors, according to a former employee who spoke to ILTUWS. The bar’s four most recent Instagram posts, prior to the December 4 reopening announcement, said it was “closed for summer vacation.”

McKiernan was also arrested on two separate occasions in the summer of 2023, shortly before the bar closed. He was charged with Strangulation, Criminal Possession of Stolen Property and Grand Larceny. The latter two charges stemmed from an incident in June when McKiernan stole a UPS package that included an iPhone, according to the NYPD.

“It will be some time before things settle down and some of the past issues are fully dealt with,” the former employee said to ILTUWS. “Hopefully the bar can come back to life, which would be great for the neighborhood.” The former employee also told us the “new manager will be back in town in mid January.”

We’ll provide updates as we learn more.


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