Binghamton’s iconic Sharkey’s restaurant building sold

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The now closed Sharkey’s Bar & Grill site in Binghamton was acquired more than two years after it was put on the market.

The popular First Ward restaurant closed in November 2020, nearly 73 years after it opened on Glenwood Avenue.

Co-owner JoAnn Sharak said the transaction was finalized last week. Discussing the sale, she said “it’s a mixed feeling…but it all has to end.”

A sign above an entrance to Sharkey’s Bar and Grill on November 17, 2020. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)

A sign above an entrance to Sharkey’s Bar and Grill on November 17, 2020. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)

The building housing the restaurant and an adjacent parking lot on Hazel Street were sold to Maria Houmbavlis. She operated Piccolo’s Cafe on Main Street on the city’s West Side for many years. Reached in the matter on Tuesday afternoon, Houmbavlis said it has not been determined what will be done with the former Sharkey’s property.

Peter and Victoria Sharak opened Sharkey’s in December 1947. The place became famous for its spies, city chicken and clams.

JoAnn Sharak has many fond memories of Sharkey. It was there that she met Larry, her future husband in the late 1960s when she stopped by with a few friends.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Sharkey’s was open Thursday through Sunday. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Sharkey’s was open Thursday through Sunday. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)

For the past few years, JoAnn has operated Sharkey’s with her sister-in-law Marie. After facing a Covid-19 shutdown and other challenges in 2020, they decided it was time to retire.

They had hoped to sell Sharkey’s to someone who would continue to operate the establishment in the tradition established by the Sharak family over the years. They were unable to find a new owner who would do that.

Now the future of the site where Sharkey’s stood for nearly three-quarters of a century is uncertain.

A preview of Sharkey’s bar on March 8, 2022. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)

A preview of Sharkey’s bar on March 8, 2022. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)

Contact Bob Joseph, WNBF News reporter: bob@wnbf.com. For the latest story development news and updates, follow @BinghamtonNow on Twitter.

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