A Gowanus bar is mourning the death of one of its founders.
Evelyn Dahab, 33, died in a fire at her Manhattan apartment early on Wednesday morning, three weeks shy of when she planned to move out to end a dispute with her landlord, according to a long Facebook post she wrote detailing the conflict. A former business partner at Lucey’s Lounge, the cocktail bar on Third Avenue between 10th and 11th streets, remembered Dahab as someone who grabbed the bull by the horns.
“She wasn’t a spectator,” said Darren Lucey, a co-owner of the bar and its namesake. “She was a crazy girl with a big heart, and she was out there living life.”
Police and firefighters responded at 3:15 am on Wednesday to a 911 call reporting a fire in the basement of a five-story building in the East Village section of Manhattan, and firefighters brought the blaze under control about 30 minutes later, FDNY officials said. Responders found Dahab unresponsive in her basement apartment and declared her dead, according to a police spokesman. The cause of the fire was still under investigation on Thursday.
Dahab had been going through a “painful legal dispute” with her landlord over an $18,000 rental deposit according to an October Facebook post, in which she promised friends a moving-out party and a “free-for-all” on the belongings she said she would be unable to move.
Dahab grew up on Long Island and graduated from Columbia University’s Barnard College in 2002 with a political science degree, according to an author bio. Dahab blogged about wine and food under the moniker “Oenogal” and published a memoir called “Incapacitated” about a dark, 15-month relationship with a wealthy bachelor, which a promotional summary describes as a “Dantenian descent into sexual hell.” She also played a bit part in the soap opera “Guiding Light.”
Lucey said he had last seen his longtime friend about two weeks ago, and she had planned to come to bar for a viewing party to mark its appearance on the reality television show “Barmageddon.” But on Wednesday afternoon, he got the bad news.
“Yesterday was supposed to be a party, but she didn’t get to make it,” he said. “I’m running the gamut of emotions. I’m angry, I’m sad, I’m a lot of things.”