When FNY did its “ancient and notable bars” tour in spring 2017, we concentrated on the Greenwich Village and Union Square area and hence, didn’t see the Landmark Tavern, 11th Avenue and West 46th Street in Hell’s Kitchen, a block away from the Intrepid
battleship aircraft carrier on the East River.
The slaughterhouses, glue factories, stockyards, lumberyards and industries where workmen used to get their liquid lunch from the Landmark are mostly gone but the old place soldiers on. It was founded by Irish immigrant Patrick H. Carley in 1868, when 11th Avenue faced the Hudson River. It was a speakeasy from 1919-1932 in the Prohibition era. It’s something of a formal place these days, believe it or not, and has a serious menu, not just burgers and chicken. The front and rear rooms both have woodburning potbelly stoves.
According to Ephemeral New York, the bar was a hangout of the Westies, the violent Hell’s Kitchen gang, in the 1980s; and George Raft‘s ghost is said to haunt the place: the tough-guy actor grew up in the neighborhood. However, a Confederate soldier’s ghost, as well as that of an immigrant Irish girl, also have been seen there (by believers of the paranormal, a club I’m not a member of). Gettin’ mighty crowded!
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