We knew this was coming, but it’s official: Tracks, the raw bar and grill that even die-hard Penn Station haters loved is closed due to the massive overhaul and renovation taking place at the train station. The last day of operation for Tracks was on Friday August 30th, but with the Labor Day weekend, its closing hasn’t quite hit the air waves yet. At noon today, no less than half a dozen people walked up to the door and turned around bummed. The interior is already being taken apart. Pipes are sitting on the wooden bar, the subway-themed photos and collectibles are gone, and we were there today as the frier was being rolled down the hall behind tracks. We’re guessing those will be incorporated into the new Tracks Bar & Grill that will be located at 220 West 31st Street, between 7th and 8th avenues opening in September. All this taking place just around the anniversary of the first Long Island Railroad trains pulling into Penn Station, on September 2nd, 1910.
Messages have been left on the walls behind where the art used to be, including love for the Rangers and Yankees, love for bartender Trish, equating the Red Sox to trash, and support for Trump in 2020. On the right side, is a tribute to Tracks and its staff by guests, with a drawing of the vintage clock that used to hang there. The traffic light, which we always liked, is still there, along with the Long Island Railroad map on the ceiling. (In less sad news, the McDonalds next door has also closed).
We have been tracking the remnants of the original Penn Station for many years, and the recent flurry of reveals as the station ceilings are opened up for the renovation will make for an exciting Remnants of Penn Station tour we are running this weekend, led by Justin Rivers, who wrote the play about the demolition of Penn Station, The Eternal Space. Join us this weekend! We’ll just need a new meeting location, because we used to always meet in front of Tracks!
Based on the renderings provided by Governor Cuomo’s office for this area of the station, it appears that the ticket windows and other facilities will be where Tracks once was, adjacent to a new set of four escalators that will open up onto a new entrance on 7th Avenue.
Rendering courtesy Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo
And here are some photographs of Tracks taken before closing this summer so you can see it in its heyday!
Join us for this weekend’s tour of the Remnants of Penn Station (or a future tour!) to see all that has been uncovered since the renovation began, and the remnants that have been there for decades: