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Ithaca bar will not reopen, ending three-year run in west end

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  • Staff Report 

The Modern Alchemy Game Bar in Ithaca’s west end has permanently closed, co-owner Jonathan Westerling announced on Sunday. Initially deemed a temporary shutdown due to unforeseen circumstances in early April, the bar will not reopen under the current ownership following a failed transition to a new ownership group. The decision came after Westerling and co-owner Nicholas Daniluk sought to shift focus to their personal lives last year.

Westerling explained that the complexities of selling the bar, including the need to surrender licenses and insurance, made it legally impossible to continue operations. The lengthy process of reopening and the challenges presented were too great for the owners, leading them to prioritize their families’ needs over the business.

Opened in May 2021, Modern Alchemy quickly became a community favorite, known for its unique offerings such as waffles and bloody mary brunches, gaming and trivia nights, and a friendly atmosphere for various social gatherings. Despite the initial struggles, including a temporary closure due to a COVID-19 outbreak, the establishment celebrated successful operations and a loyal customer base. The owners expressed their gratitude to both patrons and staff for their support and encouraged interested parties to reach out via their Facebook page for potential future endeavors.