Is there a drink large enough to "pour one out" for Old Zinnie's?
The mainstay Midtown bar is set to close December 31st.
According to Adam Lafevor, owner Bill Baker's lawyer and onetime OZ bartender, "The lease is finally up. That's it — no fines, no violations, no hard feelings."
Lafevor said, "Old Zinnie's wants to say thank you to its loyal customers. We're sad to see everybody go."
Old Zinnie's opened in 1973.
The space is owned by the Barrasso family and Malkin Management.
Arthur Malkin of Malkin Management says he learned of Zinnie's closing at 1 p.m. via a faxed letter. He says the rent was not raised and he was not approached to renegotiate. "Malkin Management worked with Zinnie's for years, and we just received notice from their attorney today (this afternoon) that they were closing their doors and cancelling their lease. We had no prior knowledge and are just as sad to see them go. They have been a great tenant and fulfilled all of their obligations over the years. My understanding from Zinnie's attorney (we spoke today) is that the ownership was simply ready to close and retire, end of story. They will be missed, and truly are irreplaceable. We love Memphis and have no influence over their decision to close. Anyone interested in carrying on the tradition is more than welcome to reach out to us or call. Warmest respect and regards to all of our fellow Memphians."
Malkin says he would be willing to talk to Baker about a new lease. He thinks that Baker may simply be ready to retire.
"He's an institution," says Malkin of Baker.