“Set on a block where one might feel comfortable urinating against a building.” – New York Times magazine
Looking at online comments about this strip club located on Greenwich Street just south of Ground Zero, people love this place precisely because it’s grungy and hasn’t changed since the 1970s. It’s one of the last neighborhood bars in the area, that just happens to have a long stage with dancers. In 2006, I went to the lounge to listen to a friend, DJ Rob Paterson spin on the second floor of the venue. Today, despite rapid construction and controversy over at Ground Zero, this street doesn’t look too affected at all. And in the face of a luxury condo at 88 Greenwich, the Pussycat Lounge and the next door sex store “Thunder Lingerie” still retain their distinctive facades. The Remy Lounge has closed and is now boarded up with rodent extermination signs but the rare wooden facade and curvilinear engaged column is still visible.
Facade of Pussycat Lounge
The 4-story brick row building which houses the Pussycat Lounge was constructed in 1799 by Augustus Hicks Lawrence, a Wall Street financier. Before its life as the Pussycat, it was previously a restaurant and a brothel, not too dissimilar from the history of nearby 103 Washington St, now Moran’s Pub. In a complicated twist of events, hotel developer Sam Chang purchased the building for $3.5 million while the Pussycat Lounge owner was trying to get the building landmarked. Chang threatened to demolish the building but then abruptly sold it to the lounge owner at a $1 million loss. Meanwhile the DOB permit for alterations writes of a one-floor addition but there appears to be even more being added.
I particularly love the door at 94 1/2 Greenwich. Not only is it wooden with vintage doorbells, but it has a decorative concrete archway and still retains the “MR.” of a now defunct store sign. When the neighboring business put up a new green awning, they didn’t bother removing the section above the private doorway.
Pussycat Lounge: 96 Greenwich St at Rector St.
Subway: 1 to Rector St., R to Rector St. 4/5 to Wall St.