Meet me at Stan’s. Plenty of us have said that in the past, referring to Stan’s Sports Bar, the most fabled of the watering holes surrounding Yankee Stadium. After opening in 1979 it has been part of our collective memories of the team and the old Stadium. I remember my dad taking me in there back in the day, order me a Coke while he pounded his customary Budweiser. In more recent times I’ve met friends there, hanging out by the door because the place is so packed (putting in that side bar was the smartest thing they did). Just walk by the place and you can see just how much Stan’s means to Yanks fans.
With the team moving a block to the north, Stan’s won’t have the same impact it’s had in the past. At the old Stadium, Stan’s sat between the subway station and the ballpark, making it an ideal stop-by location for a quick brew before the game. With the new Stadium, fans will have to go out of their ways to grab a drink at Stan’s. Katherine Bindley of the Times profiles the bar and how its owner and managers are coping with the potential loss of business. Louis Dene, the bar’s owner, thinks he’ll lose 30 to 40 percent of his business. That’s not good for those of us who like the rowdy atmosphere of the bar.
This a major loss for fans. Even fans who weren’t familiar with the luster of Stan’s could see it first hand while walking by. Now, people will have to go there specifically. In other words, they won’t get the foot traffic which was once a big part of their business. Instead, fans will pass by the Dugout, a more stylish establishment. I don’t know how many of you have parked in Lot 3 and walked to the game, but that place never seemed appealing to me. It’s not a ballpark bar, that’s for sure. Yet the owner hopes that the high ticket prices for the new Stadium will draw a higher-class clientele to which his bar will appeal.
“There’s a term I’m looking for,” [Dugout owner ]Mr. Robinson said, searching for how to describe the atmosphere. “Midtown comes to the Bronx — that’s it.”
I’m sure I don’t speak for everyone, but that sounds like the worst idea ever. But hey, maybe it will appeal to the new Stadium’s patrons. Fans like me, though, will still head down to Stan’s, or maybe even Billy’s, for a pre-game drink.