Today marks the 1-year anniversary of The Corner, an East Village bar and restaurant owned by Davin and Cooper McLaughlin. It’s a reflective moment for the brothers, who actually lived in the Carnation Milk Factory warehouse location during much of the past 10 years and recall partying there like it was 1999.
East Village is gentrifying now, but a decade ago, there wasn't a multitude of condominiums, wine bars, grocery stores or a Major League Baseball stadium. Recall that the Carnation Milk Factory was painted with that eerie, quasi-iconic Eyes of Picasso mural.
Back then, the East Village was the Wild West.
"You could do anything you wanted back then -- there were no neighbors to worry about, just homeless people and drug dealers," Davin said. "DJs would end their jobs for the night and then come here to our parties, and take turns playing on our system."
The brothers recall one bash that attracted about 700 people, with hundreds spilling out into the streets.
"It was about 2 a.m., and the Port-a-Potties were overflowing," Cooper said. "We were taking care of that, then we looked up the street and saw about 150 more people coming to join us."
Today, with Petco Park down the street and working folk filling surrounding condos, the boys have toned down the revelry. They strive to make The Corner a bar with a neighborhood feel. The burgers are tasty (Tater Tots are new to the menu), there are a multitude of flat-screen TVs on the walls, and Cooper said patrons often come in to play the boxed board games kept in one corner of the bar -- Yahtzee, Connect Four, Jenga.
The brothers still like to have parties at The Corner. This last year was hallmarked by a New Year’s Eve bash, an '80s Night and a White Trash Party. This evening, the anniversary party starts early, with some giveaways and $4 "you-call-its" all night. Rest assured, the bathroom situation will not be a problem.