At the end of last year, we introduced you to Jonny and Christy Sheehan’s forthcoming Bar Chord on Cortelyou Road near Coney Island Avenue. After months of sourcing materials, undergoing construction, and obtaining permits, the Sheehans’ hard work is finally paying off. Jonny and Christy, along with Marlborough Rd neighbor, friend, and musical collaborator Stephen Lovekin, are putting the final touches on Bar Chord before their planned opening in early May. They were nice enough to let us inside for a look.
“We wanted to make a bar that feels like it’s always been here,” says Christy, and in ways, it has–the Sheehans used wood taken from their own Victorian home, salvaged doors, seating, and the mirror behind the bar from Build It Green NYC, and managed to safely uncover the building’s original 1920s tile floors. They’re keeping the tire remnant that hangs from the tree in the backyard (reflected in Noah Apple‘s painting on the bar’s back door), where they hope to have picnic tables and project pictures and sporting events onto the back wall. Even the shingled facade and bar are nods to the architecture of the neighborhood.
“We live down the street from each other, and go on vacation together. We were always playing music on the beach, in the living room, and in the yard, so it just made sense to take the bar in this direction,” says Stephen, who runs Underdog Guitars. He plans to curate the bar’s walls with lesser-known guitars from the 1950s and 60s, mostly priced from $350-1,500. Bar Chord will also carry strings and picks to make it easier for musicians to get basic supplies locally.
Stephen and the Sheehans, musicians at heart, seem to simply be looking forward to having a music-oriented space close by, whether that means playing live in the bar’s front area or perusing the jukebox (which Christy says runs the gamut from Dr. Dre to Duke Ellington, and has at least one thing for everyone who responded to her recent request-taking). And as for drinks? Bar Chord will have a wide selection of top-shelf tequilas, Jonny says, and eight taps serving everything from IPAs to lagers.
“We’re just excited to open the doors,” says Christy, “and provide a local place to hang, play music, and be comfortable.” And of course, says the woman whose above-the-bar pendant lamps came from nearby Collyer’s Mansion, “We want to add to the vibrancy of Cortelyou.”