The owners of The Bitter End are calling on their loyal patrons to honor the man who was the first person they saw when they got to the club and the last when they left.
Kenneth Kelly, the music club's doorman for 26 years, died last week after falling down the stairs while closing up at the Bleecker Street venue.
Paul Rizzo, one of The Bitter End's co-owners who knew Kelly, 56, since 1988, said his friend's presence was felt by everyone because he helped to keep the atmosphere fun.
"We never had a lot of incidents and never had a lot of problems, and it was all him," he said.
Rizzo said Kelly had a real connection with the venue not only because he loved hearing the various bands but also because it was where he met his wife, Barbara. He is also survived by two teenage children.
Rizzo said he and his fellow owners are planning a memorial and they'd like to create a photo collage to give to the Kelly family. Feedback for the project was already strong among The Bitter End's Facebook followers, many of whom attended his wake and funeral services last week.
"Everyone knew him as Kelly. A lot of people didn't know his first name was Kenny," Rizzo said.