It was almost like Freddy’s.
The Prohibition-era tavern that was torn down last year to make room for Bruce Ratner’s Atlantic Yards project reopened in a new space in the South Slope on Thursday night, one day before the public grand opening.
Friends of the doomed bar, which lost its battle against the use of eminent domain, flocked to former bartender Donald O’Finn’s new joint near 17th Street — about two miles away from the old haunt, yet seemingly so close.
This version of Freddy’s has the same bar, a lot of the same barflies, and O’Finn’s wacky video loops. He’s now a co-owner.
The bar is still ringed with the thick metal chain to which customers intended to lock themselves in the event that the fight to stay at the original location at the corner of Sixth Avenue and Dean Street became violent.
It never came to that, of course. Owner Frank Yost accepted a buyout and the building was torn down late last year.
Christening the new venue were longtime fans, including Atlantic Yards activist Steve de Seve; and country music legend Andy Friedman, who spent many a night playing in Freddy’s Backroom (and singing a song about the bar’s demise).
“The original was great, but I’m looking forward to coming here and playing a lot,” said Friedman.
The official opening is tonight.
Freddy’s Bar [627 Fifth Ave. between 17th and 18th streets in Park Slope, (718) 768-8131].
©2011 Community News Group
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