A Big Apple bar owner is bowing out — and banking on Bitcoin with what could be the first cryptocurrency-only restaurant sale in the US.
This week, Patrick Hughes put his side-by-side Hell’s Kitchen watering holes, Hellcat Annie’s and Scruffy Duffy’s, up for sale. The price tag: 25 Bitcoins or 800 Ethereum tokens for both, a value of about $875,000 by current cryptocurrency prices.
“Crypto is on fire, it’s a hot currency,” said Hughes, 56, a Queens native who now resides in Ho-Ho-Kus, NJ, and whose family has been in the Manhattan bar business since 1970. “It’s decentralized. It’s global.”
Fueled by ever-increasing debt and fears of a devalued American dollar, Hughes is among countless investors, institutions and everyday Americans who see cryptocurrency as a legit alternative to the dollar.
NFL offensive tackle Russell Okung just had his demand to be paid in Bitcoin fulfilled by the Carolina Panthers. PayPal introduced a crypto exchange late last year. And federal regulators this week began allowing banks to settle transactions in cryptocurrencies.
The sale of Hellcat Annie’s and Scruffy Duffy’s could mark a new chapter in crypto ascendancy.
“I’m not aware of any other bars or restaurants that have been sold for crypto only,” said Charles Cascarilla, CEO of Paxos Trust Company, which specializes in cryptocurrency infrastructure. “But more and more people look at crypto as a monetary instrument. We’re really at a tipping point of its acceptance.”