Two bars for bitcoins: an owner at Hell’s Kitchen in New York selling out for cryptocurrency

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Patrick Hughes has put his two bars side by side in New York’s Hell’s Kitchen, Hellcat Annie’s and Scruffy Duffy’s, for sale – for 25 bitcoins or 800 Ethereum tickets, now worth up to $ 1.12 million.

He listed the bars in Manhattan’s western neighborhood – which like other eating and drinking establishments have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic – went on sale in early January.

“This would be a good time for a young, fresh-blooded person to get here and go for it, as I did when I was 26 and open my first place,” Hughes said in an interview. “Now I’m 56, and maybe it’s time for someone else, because I’m tired.”

A niche investment a few years ago, bitcoin has become the world’s most popular cryptocurrency.

Last year, it rose by 304%, prompting investment banks to forecast more returns in the future. JPMorgan Chase said it would reach $ 146,000, while Citigroup said bitcoin could hit $ 318,000.

Bitcoin is currently trading at nearly $ 36,000 each, putting the price for Hellcat Annie and Scruffy Duffy’s at nearly $ 900,000. Paying 800 tickets from the second largest cryptocurrency, Ethereum, would make it nearly $ 1.12 million.

Hughes said he had “a number of inquiries,” but not about a bitcoin deal, and said he would also consider selling the bars for dollars.

“We may ceremonially add one bitcoin to the deal, you know, just to give it a boost,” said Hughes.

Both bars closed in March as the pandemic began to hit New York. In November, Hughes reopened Hellcat Annie’s with an outdoor dining area that brings in plenty of business to support the establishment even with indoor dining closing.

He uses Scruffy Duffy’s to store furniture removed from Hellcat Annie’s.

Before the pandemic, the bars had a combined staff of 50 people. Now it’s about five.

Hughes said COVID-19 didn’t hurt his personal finances badly. “I was fortunate enough to have saved my money over the years,” said Hughes. “And I’ve been able to find the storm.”

He said he had one bitcoin. “It’s fun to watch,” he said. “And we’ll see what happens in the future. But cryptocurrency is the future. ”

(This story corrects Ethereum’s spelling in paragraphs 1 and 6)

Reporting by Aleksandra Michalska; Writing by Jonathan Oatis; Editing by Rosalba O’Brien