Tranquil Bar & Bistro in Binghamton closing in April

BINGHAMTON, N.Y. - Tranquil Bar & Bistro announced on Monday that they are closing their doors on Sunday, April 2nd.

The Binghamton restaurant was opened in 2008.

Co-owner Sean Massey wrote the following note about the closing:

Dear Friends,

After 9-years providing unique French-American cuisine and a warm and eclectic atmosphere to our friends, neighbors, and guests from across the region, Tranquil Bar & Bistro will be closing its doors on Sunday April 2nd.

Tranquil opened on New Year’s Day in 2008 in a 1904 vintage brick building (originally E. S. Harding Groceries) on the corner of Pine and Fayette. At the time we were one of only a few restaurants in Downtown Binghamton offering a high quality dining experience in an environment that has been called “NYC-style,” “urban chic,” “bohemian,” etc. More importantly, we helped kick-off the Binghamton Restaurant “Renaissance” that began under the Ryan Administration. We considered ourselves trailblazers, bringing some of the economic revitalization energy from Downtown Binghamton to the edge of downtown, helping highlight many of the amenities that were already there, and contributing to the growth that has led to the wealth of new dining opportunities that Binghamton residents can now take advantage of.

Over the years, Tranquil has tried to be many things (perhaps too many at times).  We always envisioned ourselves as a sort of Upper West Side meets Paris style bistro, like the places we had come to love during our years living in NYC and our travels. We copied aspects of favorite bars from our youth. One, in particular, was Universal Bar & Grill located on Bedford Street in Greenwich Village in the 1990s, known for it’s tambourines, turntable with collection of popular television theme songs on vinyl, drag queens, and free flowing cosmopolitans. Early on we became the “political bar” (at least for those with a somewhat left-of-center perspective) where people in or interested in politics could come have a drink, watch the news, and debate policies, candidates, and the fate of our city.

We have also tried to be a progressive space, one that celebrates the diversity of our community, where everyone felt welcome: old, young, students, faculty, “townies,” people of color, gay and straight, trans and gender non-conforming, and the occasional wandering Pine Street celebrity. We tried to be responsible civic-minded business owners. We hosted the very first Celebrity Bartender Bash for Southern Tier AIDS Program and supported their HIV/AIDS prevention efforts by providing a discrete space at the corner of the bar for safer sex education materials (and, yes, a bowl full of condoms). We labeled our restrooms with gender-neutral signs - much to the initial consternation of code officials at the time (they eventually got it). Over the years we partnered with other groups and organizations that are vital to our community, like: KNOW and Half Light Theatres, The Art Mission, Binghamton Pride Coalition, Tri-Cities Opera, and we provided a space for various fundraisers supporting a number of political candidates and community causes.

It was all a lot of fun!!

Ironically, we may have also been doomed by the increasing economic success of the City of Binghamton. Although there was little competition when we opened - that has changed significantly in the past few years. There are now wonderful places to eat and socialize throughout downtown Binghamton.

Closing has been a difficult decision – perhaps one we avoided a bit longer than was wise from a business standpoint. We greatly value our employees, and we truly believe Tranquil offered something unique to our community. Our Chef Sharon Warnock is a true culinary artist, who was responsible for our delicious and creative menu. And together with her amazing team - Mike, Tristan, Joe, Gavin, and Gunnar, provided the love and care that has gone into our food. Our servers and bartenders - Naomi, Kate, Billie, Jay, Chase, and Mercy, always worked to make Tranquil a home away from home for our guests. But now it’s time to call it a day.

Our hope is to go out with a bang! We chose the end of March for our finale so we can be a part of Binghamton Restaurant Week one last time. Chef Sharon has put together another amazing Restaurant Week menu, so be sure to make your reservations now! And between now and the end, please stop by and enjoy one more meal with us, say goodbye to everyone, and help us make a few more warm and happy memories.

So what’s happening with 36 Pine Street and the “Tranquil” brand? The new owner, a friend and former bartender, has some exciting plans… but we’ll have to let him tell you what they are.

With love and thanks,

Sean & Loren

P.S. Details about our farewell party will be coming soon!


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