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Columbia Spectator Staff

What used to be known as the Night Café is now an empty cavern on the corner of 106th and Amsterdam. The bartender at the Night Café served liquor to her patrons for the last time Sunday evening, but not without one last hurrah.

Three televisions propped on the wall showed a baseball game as neon Heineken bottles flickered underneath. Empty wine glasses and beer bottles littered the countertop.

"Sunday nights are funny," said a bartender who identified herself only as Christie, who has been sporadically bartending at the café for the past two years. "We don't have the after-work crowd we do on other days of the week, but we do have a fun trivia game every Sunday."

Brian Flanagan has run the bar for the past fifteen years, but he has been forced out of the space due to increased rent. On his last night, he declined to comment to Spectator, absorbed in Night Café's last ritualistic Sunday night trivia game.

"The fact that Night Café is closing is really sad," Christie said. "It's like an extended family here."

The location has been a bar for at least 60 years. The white plastered ceiling has not been changed since the store's conception.

Christie said that Night Café will not reopen elsewhere.

She will however miss the atmosphere. "All sorts of people, no matter their color, class, or religion can come together and share a drink and a laugh."

On the other hand, she said, all good things must come to an end.

"I know this sounds awful, but I don't care," said Amilia Elderfield, a local patron. "In fact, it's probably good that this place is closing. Then I won't have to come here and pick up this guy all the time." She threw her thumb at the man sitting next to her.

But not all patrons are willing to take an up-beat attitude.

Another patron, refusing to give his name, said he knew the real reason the bar was closing. "They don't want no poor people in these locations," he said.

Elderfield said that the bar closing was indicative of a larger change in the area. She said she suspects the newly-vacant corner will become an overpriced bar or a knitting store.

Sarah Cohler can be reached at news@columbiaspectator.com

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