1020, the popular bar on Amsterdam Avenue and 110th St with past allegations of sexual harassment and passivity towards underage drinking, has been repossessed. The bar’s co-owner Michael McKiernan was allegedly arrested for unrelated reasons.
Editor’s warning: Article includes mentions of sexual harassment, racism.
On August 16, nearby bar 1020 was repossessed by the New York City marshal, less than a month after co-owner Michael McKiernan was allegedly arrested on July 30 for unrelated reasons. The day after repossession, 1020 shared to its Instagram account news of its closure, stating, “We’re on summer vacation…Check back with us next week.” These posts continued until August 26. While Google lists 1020 as permanently closed, a sign posted to the door reads “OPEN.” Bwog has reached out to 1020 for comment.
Blog I Love The Upper West Side (ILTUWS) shared the initial news of the repossession, writing that a former employee alleged that 1020 was behind on rent by as much as two years. The source also alleged that the bar purportedly struggled to pay distributors, purchasing alcohol from liquor stores instead.
According to the ILTUWS article, 1020’s co-owner Michael McKiernan was allegedly arrested on July 5 for Grand Larceny and Criminal Possession of Stolen Property after having stolen a UPS package containing an iPhone 12. The publication also wrote that McKiernan was allegedly arrested again on July 30 for Strangulation. In addition to this arrest, ILTUWS further reported that a detective cited prior arrests for another case of Strangulation and one for Forcible Touching. Bwog has reached out to the NYPD and Ileana Rivera City Marshal for comment.
This news follows years of allegations of sexual harassment and racism attributed to McKiernan. In 2021, the Columbia Daily Spectator spoke with former 1020 bartenders who claimed that McKiernan forced them to wear revealing clothing, forbid them from having boyfriends, and involved them in personal sexually-explicit conversations. One source told Spectator that McKiernan pressured her to drink underage. Employees claimed that the 1020 co-owner often used income as a leverage point, a former bartender declaring, “If you fell out of his good graces, you were making $200 less that week.” The article additionally claimed that McKiernan made racist remarks against Black and Asian people, occasionally asking bartenders to kick Black customers out of the bar.
The repossession of 1020 anticipates changes in the bar’s status as a Columbia staple. Open since 1994, the bar’s potentially permanent closure would put an end to an almost thirty-year connection to campus culture.
1020, NYPD, and the New York City marshal have not responded to Bwog’s requests for comments. This is a developing story.
1020 Bar Door via Emma Burris