1947 – 2018
Renee Cooke and pal Roni King at Shelter Island.
On Tuesday January 16, 2018 Renee Cooke passed away in her sleep. Renee was a successful fashion runway model in the 70’s. She later became a very popular bartender and icon of the NYC gay bar scene. She tended bar at popular venues such as The Duchess, Champs, Sound Factory Bar, Twilo, The Chick Inn and Ruby Fruit.
Renee’s friend remembers her:
… Renee was a vision, a gentle soul, cool, calm and always collected. She dressed to the nines, wearing her military costume (of course with a hat) or a bright white tee. She always kept her keen eyes open and would let you know who not to deal with. She could hop a bar when trouble started on the dance floor of the Duchess. In my mind, she was the Duchess! Her mixed tapes were, and still are, EPIC. She will be remembered always as my Dutchess. …
Renee had an incredibly infectious smile and charm and lit up every space she graced with her presence. Her gentle kindness will live on in the memories of all those who were lucky enough to come in contact with her.
More than anything else in this world Renee loved good people, good food and good music. On April 8th from 1–4 p.m., the day after Renee’s birthday, there will be a memorial and celebration of Renee’s life at the Henrietta Hudson bar, located at 438 Hudson Street off of Morton Street, hosted by Pat King & Steven Vega.