So I guess this is really it. Set for closure by New Year's Day, Timboo's managed a few more weeks. People wanted to believe that the place would at least make it to the Super Bowl, but no. A last (championship) pool game, & a lot of talk about where the regulars would end up next. Would it be McFadden's? Or Joe's? No one seemed to be sure. What's interesting is how far some people came to drink at Timboo's: from Sheepshead Bay, or up in the Bronx, & what's beautiful about it was the real sense of community you found there. On some of the chattering, snider Brooklyn blogs it got derided as a last resort dive bar, which is the stupidest shit out there. It was a last remnant of a decent, blue-collar, South Slope bar scene, and patronized by people you'd never get the chance to meet in any of the newer places on the avenue. With far better stories. People who were ready to talk to whoever came through the door, provided they came in with the right attitude. You could go in there alone, or with friends, & be welcomed, even as a casual visitor. You'd be fed, and treated well. Some of the best people around. And while it had plenty of older customers, there was a fair number of younger drinkers too, especially on pool and football nights. Originally Loftus's, in the 40s, the bar became Steve's in the 50s, and then Timboo's in '69. On the walls, an array from the past: collages of drinkers past and present, of Dodgers & Mets, of Elvis, Seargent Pepper, of crooners (Sinatra, Carmichael et al.), & a fading wallpaper of Empire diners. A paneled den of memories, but not maudlin or depressed in any way, like Jackie's down at 7th Street could feel. Timboo's kept your spirits up, rather than sapping them completely.
So what've we got coming in on this block now? You couldn't call it a lovely stretch, but until recently it seemed to have resisted the forces of gentrification quite nicely, & that was a comfort. Comfort no more. A new pub will replace the closed jazz bar Puppets (a sad, short-lived venture), & an upscale baby store with Urban & Classic clothing lines is set to open shortly. A French restaurant will take the spot where the Park Slope diner lasted for forty years. Thrifty Liquidators & 99c Bazar (sic) are shuttered, & though they weren't the most exciting of places, they were cheap, & I fear their successors. The Key Food (replacing the OTB) will be open soon, & that at least is a handy sort of change. Not the rest though. A couple of people tonight said that that the Timboo's name would stay on with its replacement bar, but I don't see the point of that. None of the old customers will be back. Hair Designs by Julie is still around, & it's just about my last hope for the older feel of the block. The tattoo-faced mannequins there in the window - ladies of uncertain age - are all ready for Valentine's Day. Surrounded by blooming paper hearts, they stare with contempt at a changing world. My sullen heroines.