Eater is worried because the owners of WXOU (also called Radio Bar and the Knockoff, since it’s a sister of WCOU a.k.a. Tile Bar) have sold the place to their onetime bartender, Rob Gelardi. Seems a little alarmist, since Gelardi has been there some fourteen years, but for good measure we asked a couple of die-hard regulars whether his new post would change the watering hole’s blessedly unpretentious neighborhood vibe (Gelardi himself has said that it will not). Says book editor Brett Valley, “As someone who has clocked in a lot of hours on the customer side of the lumber at WXOU, it is a great bar and will remain a great bar. Rob and his co-owners love the bar and I wish them lots of luck. As long as there is Hartman and Coltrane on the juke and cold martinis, I’ll be there.” Cheers to that! Another regular tells us that WXOU old-schoolers still abound, and, after all, there’s no harm in a bartender-owner: “I haven’t noticed a thing — the drinks are still strong and seriously discounted, and the jukebox is still full of Neil Young.” In short, it seems unlikely Gelardi will festoon the bar with plasma screens like the son of Tile Bar’s owners did at 12th Street Bar. So breathe easy, hard drinkers. And bloggers!
Correction: According to Urbanite, “Gelardi, 40, was a bartender at WXOU 14 years ago and later went on to a career in the beer and liquor wholesale business.”