I can't really believe that I feel bad for bar owners in this town, but it happened to me, so it could happen to you too.
Last night I passed by the North East Village of Avenue A and saw the 4 main bars totally packed, overflowing - Drop Off Service, Destination, Common Ground and SuperDive. And right in the midst of these 4 noisy crowded places is Al Diwan. It is a rather large establishment with a bar and tables for dinner. It was completely empty, with the staff standing outside, staring wistfully across the street at the crowds they can't seem to attract. I felt really bad for them, making no money while the other guys are just cleaning up. Habibi, which is adjacent to SuperDive was also empty save for 2 people at the bar.
Is this the end of the middle eastern extravaganza, or did it never take off to begin with? I have no idea.
In other bar related news, on Saturday night I counted how many people were standing in front of bars on Avenue A at around midnight. Each bar (this time including Habibi) in the North East Village portion of Avenue A had about 25 people on the sidewalk, totalling around 150 people on the street from 12th-14th Street.