Last call to The Blue Tusk: “An anchor of connection and friendship for so many, for so long”



Syracuse, NY – It was a day for many of the old regulars to drop by The blue tusk, the famous Armory Square bar that was closed on Saturday night.

In the midst of the crowd of classic cars, Dean Elton stood out. He drove in from his Madison County house after reading about the closure of the 26-year-old bar that had made Armory Square a drinking and dining destination over the past quarter century.

“This is my first time here,” said Elton as he ordered a Tusk Bomb, a beer brewed by Poughkeepsie’s renowned Sloop Brewing Co in tribute to The Blue Tusk. “It’s such a cool place. I can’t believe I waited until now to come here. It’s a real bummer. “

Elsewhere, regulars named Tuskafari by co-owner Mike Yorton talked about the old days. More than a conversation revolved around memories of long beers and old friends.

Many wore the batik-style Tusk T-shirts with the bar’s motto on the back: “Reality is a hallucination caused by a lack of good beer and good wine.”

Customers in front of The Blue Tusk Bar in Armory Square on the last day, September 25, 2021. (Don Cazentre | [email protected])

The closing, which became known in July, is the result of a dispute over a new lease for the premises in the Center Armory Building at 165 Walton Street. The Tusk will be replaced in a few months by the Taphouse on Walton, which is its own interpretation of the Concept of good beer paired with sandwiches, cheese boards, etc. as well as a bakery.

Longtime fans also used social media on Saturday to pay tribute to the bar and father-and-son owners team, Tim and Mike Yorton, who helped bring craft beer to Syracuse and make Armory Square a place in town pay.

Many posts have stated that The Blue Tusk has been a hangout for more than a generation.

“Damn it, I’ll really miss it The blue tusk. . . ”Wrote the local musician Colin Aberdeen. “It has been an anchor of connection and friendship for so many for so long. It’s a huge loss to the community. … Another company can take this place, but it will never take its place. “

Last call to The Blue Tusk in Syracuse

Customers in the Blue Tusk Bar in Armory Square on their last day, September 25, 2021. (Don Cazentre | [email protected])

Regular Bill Bowen posted his tribute to the Tusk with a photo on the last day.

“This superb craft beer, fine wine, and world-class deli, founded in 1995, had a spectacular 26 year run and served as the anchor for the revitalized Armory Square neighborhood,” wrote Bowen. “… Since today was the last day of the Tusk, I felt moved to go there to say goodbye. It was like stepping into a time capsule. So many of the usual suspects were still sitting on their perches, and I was given the opportunity to thank Mike and Tim (Yorton) for their many kindnesses to me. The farewell was more emotional than I expected. … So long, Blue Tusk. There is a season for everything. “

Another tribute came from another of Amory Square’s signature bars, the Kitty Hoynes Irish Pub & Restaurant, just a few blocks away.

“They were pioneers in the craft beer era,” says Kitty Hoynes’ Facebook post. “Their mood was electric, their service to their community was top notch, they were rooted in the Syracuse community. The beer community respects and praises The Tusk as a special place in the world to have a sip and a bite. You have built a fabulous tradition. They created an entire tribe of Tuskafari that will live on and will always stop the Tusk and Yorton families!

“The tusk was a big reason we moved here and opened our pub in Armory Square. We can’t thank you enough for the past 26+ years. You put Syracuse on the map, not many beer bars can say that about themselves. We wish you all the best for the future, wherever that may lead you! SLINTE! “

Don Cazentre writes for, and The Post Standard. Reach him below [email protected], or follow him below, At Twitter or Facebook.



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