Chris Piscitelli, a veteran bartender at Red Hook's Bait & Tackle and Sunny's, died of cancer on January 18 at New York Presbyterian Weill Cornell Medical Center. Piscitelli, who friends describe as a generous man with a "tremendous capacity for trivia," also made such a profound impression on staff at Thomas House in Dublin, Ireland, where he worked between 2008 and 2011, that the bar announced it will close down completely tomorrow in observance of his funeral.
"Today we lost a member of our immediate family. He was a force. A friend to all, but more importantly a brother to those that truly knew him," Sunny's posted on its Facebook page, just one site where remembrances describing Piscitelli as a community fixture are accumulating. "Chris has been a magnanimous presence in Red Hook," says family friend Julia Rhodes Davis. Piscitelli is survived by his wife Sue Williams.
Red Hook Bait & Tackle will be open all day tomorrow for mourners, DNAinfo reports, with a drive-by salute set to take place just after the funeral around 10 a.m.
Additionally, a benefit event that had been organized to help offset Piscitelli's medical bills will go on as planned next Monday, January 27, with neighborhood establishments Kevin's, home/made, Fort Defiance, the Good Fork, Grindhaus, and more at Hometown BBQ. Tickets are $100; more information can be found here.
Red Hook Mourns the Death of Beloved Bait & Tackle Bartender [DNAinfo]
Pish Fest [Red Hook Bait & Tackle/Facebook]
Staten Islander's memory is honored by his Dublin friends with popular bar closing on Wednesday [Staten Island Advance]