Closing Time

Duffy's Shamrock Bar served the first beer of its last day at 6:10 a.m today. Technically, that was fifty minutes before it was legal to do so -- but what's the state going to do, shut down this 56-year-old institution a few hours early?

And technically, Duffy's doesn't -- didn't -- even open until 6:30. But by six this morning, people were waiting to go inside for their last breakfast, their last cup of coffee and yes, their first beer of the last day.

Make that next-to-last-day, because Duffy's will actually stay open for the first two hours of tomorrow. The beers and the stories will keep flowing until 2 a.m., and then the Lombardi brothers will turn off the lights and lock the doors on the watering hole they moved into this building on Court Place more than thirty years ago. For years, the Lombardis had rejected offers to sell the building, but finally, finally, they surrendered to time and inevitability. Sixteen hours from now, they'll serve their last beer of their last day.

And the rest is history. -- Patricia Calhoun

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