Quantcast
It’s curtains for Timboo’s • Brooklyn Paper

It’s curtains for Timboo’s

Timboo’s Bar, a legendary old man joint on Fifth Avenue in Park Slope, is closing. Timmy Hodgens (right) and Bobby Booras have owned the place since 1969.
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

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@cnglocal.com or by calling her at (718) 260-4505.

More from Around New York