It was back in February of 2011 when the owner of legendary dive bar O'Connor's, which has been on Fifth Avenue between Bergen and Dean Streets since 1931, announced that the bar would be undergoing extensive renovations, more than tripling its size and bringing it into the 21st century with the addition of a back room, a second floor, a stage, food, and draft lines.The bar didn't close until this past June, and since then work has been sporadic as the site became more and more of an eyesore.
But construction has recently accelerated, and when I peeked through the doorway a couple days ago owner Mike Maher was on his way out. We chatted for a couple minutes, and he told me that while construction is obviously behind schedule, he plans to re-open in about six weeks.
I only had a brief look into the darkened construction site, but it wasn't pretty in there. We won't know the full extent of the reconstruction, and whether longtime bartenders like Chris and Matt (and the longtime regulars) will return, until the bar re-opens.