Stefan Lutak, proprietor of the Holiday Cocktail Lounge, has passed away, presumably due to the health issues that briefly closed the bar last month. Lutak was born in the Ukraine in 1920 and opened the Holiday with his wife in 1965. Despite poor health, he oversaw his beloved dive with a stern and loving hand till the end, fastidiously wiping down tables, chiding unruly patrons (“they get younger and younger,” he told the Times a couple of years ago), and clearing bottles almost before you had finished them. It remains to be seen whether the bar will survive him.
Stefan Lutak: 1920-2009 [Vanishing New York]