There are lots of people crying in their beers right now, but not at Clarke's--the place in which they'd normally do so. That's because Clarke's, the Cheers of South of Fifth, where owner Laura Cullen not only knew your name and your drink, but your deep, dark secrets, has closed after 7 1/2 in biz. Cullen, who sold the place, issued this statement on her Facebook page and to her loyal customers:
Eight Saint Patrick’s Days, Seven and a half years,
And countless memories.
First dates, rehearsal dinners, baby showers, christenings,
Birthdays and anniversaries.
Clarke’s has come to a close.
This has been a collective journey of food, drink and joy.
Heartfelt thanks to our guests, who became our friends and family. It was you who made this such a special place.
With humility and gratitude we say goodbye to
The best community in the world who made a bar a home.
Each person who walked through these doors
Is a part of us forever.
Clarke's will indeed be missed by many for its food, its spirits (especially for its Bloody Mary, the best in town and possibly in the country), its stories and the sharp and sassy Cullen, treasurer of the U.S. Bartender's Guild. She tells us "It was really emotional for me, I love this place, but was time. It's been the greatest experience of my life. As sad as I am to leave Clarke's and have that come to an end, there's things I want to do for myself. It's time to move on."
Though the new owner has not been disclosed, Cullen says that she thinks the new place will be "great for the neighborhood." Cheers to that.