Economy

Two NYC bars are for sale — asking price is 25 bitcoin

(yahoo finance) – A long-time restaurant owner in New York City is looking to sell his two bars for bitcoin. Patrick Hughes put his side-by-side bars in Manhattan’s Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood, Scruffy Duffy’s and Hellcat Annie’s, up for sale in January.

The asking price? Twenty-five bitcoin (BTC-USD), or about $1.4 million at the current price. He’ll also accept 800 ethereum (ETH-USD) tokens, which values the bars at nearly $1.6 million. 

“I guess my point was that it was something new to attract a different type of buyer, get a little publicity, try to legitimize the currency a little bit,” Hughes told Yahoo Finance Live. Hughes said he would accept U.S. dollars for the bars — he just prefers bitcoin.

Bitcoin has been on a meteoric rise. It’s up 60% in the month of February alone, reaching an all-time high above $55,000 — giving the cryptocurrency a market value of more than $1 trillionCitigroup predicts it could hit $318,000 by the end of 2021 Bitcoin got a big boost after Tesla disclosed it invested $1.5 billion in the cryptocurrency, which is also attracting interest from financial institutions. Morgan Stanley has said its investment fund is looking at a large purchase of bitcoins.

“I might have to cut the price a little bit,” Hughes joked. “So maybe instead of 25 bitcoins, perhaps 10 bitcoins? I don’t know, we’ll see.”

Hughes said he hasn’t received any bitcoin offers yet for his bars, but he admits he’s gotten a lot of publicity, which he claims could be one of the reasons why the price is going up. “Perhaps I helped drive the price of this bitcoin,” he said. “When I first put this [idea] out there in early January, the price of a bitcoin was $30,000.” 

In case you were wondering, Hughes is a cryptocurrency investor. He bought bitcoin early on and sold all of his holdings when it hit $51,000 earlier this month and then immediately bought the competing cryptocurrency, ethereum.

“It’s all going to be cryptocurrency eventually and I don’t want to be holding U.S. dollars in a few years when inflation rears its ugly head again. Because it’s coming,” said Hughes.

Hellcat Annie's is one of two Manhattan bars that restaurant owner Patrick Hughes is trying to sell for bitcoin.
Hellcat Annie’s is one of two Manhattan bars that restaurant owner Patrick Hughes is trying to sell for bitcoin.

Before the pandemic, his bars had a combined staff of 50 people. That’s now down to seven. While Scruffy Duffy’s remains closed since March because of bar seating restrictions due to COVID-19, Hellcat Annie’s reopened in November with outdoor dining. 

“We’re almost back to pre-pandemic levels with the outdoor,” said Hughes. “And now with the 25% capacity indoor, I’ll be able to keep that place afloat.”

Hughes said after 30 years in the restaurant industry he’s “exhausted” and that it’s time to move on.

If he successfully sells his bars for bitcoin, Hughes could make history as the first known cryptocurrency restaurant sale in the U.S.

“I’d like to leave this business at the top of my game and to make a big splash, make a little history, and just go out on top. So I’d like to sell it for Bitcoin,” he said. “I think it would be awesome.”

Alexis Christoforous is an anchor for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @AlexisTVNews.

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