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Washington Heights Community Helps Keep Coogan's Open

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A beloved Washington Heights bar and restaurant that was set to close will stay open, with help from the community and pressure from elected officials.

After Coogan's was presented with a $40,000 rent hike, there was an outpouring of outrage from the community that held its confirmations, wedding receptions and other celebrations there for three decades.

"We have served a very, very big part of the Washington Heights community in supplying that big living room that these apartments just don't have," co-owner Dave Hunt told WCBS 880's Mike Sugerman.

He said a petition to save the iconic spot received 18,000 signatures in 48 hours.

"Hamilton" creator Lin-Manuel Miranda, who celebrated his birthdays there, also showed his support online.

"Now the fact that Lin-Manuel Miranda tweeted out and said everybody should get onboard, that certainly helps," said Hunt.

Coogan's landlord, New York Presbyterian Hospital, agreed to lower the rent. There will still be a rent hike, but it won't be as steep, Sugerman reported.

So the restaurant will stay open, much to the delight of regulars like Dr. Robert Fullilove.

"Like the program 'Cheers' – this is my version of it," he said. "The added blessing of not being in Boston."

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