6. One of New York City’s Oldest Surviving Bars is in Greenwich Village

New Yorkers and most Greenwich Village residents have been anxiously awaiting the return of Chumley’s at 86 Bedford Street. The property on which Chumley’s sits has seen the ebb and tide of history in New York City, serving as a blacksmithery and later as a stop on the Underground Railroad before the Civil War. The bar opened in 1922, with guests that included literary greats like F. Scott Fitzgerald, John Steinbeck, E.E. Cummings, and Willa Cather.

The watering hole shuttered in 2007 following a wall collapse, but co-owner Jim Miller and partner Alessandro Borgognone, an owner of Sushi Nakawaza, are restoring the space, amidst some controversy in the community.

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2 Responses
  1. Kiwiwrwriter Reply

    I remember the Women’s House of Detention, from growing up in the Village…the women inside would yell down to their pals on the street, often in colorful metaphors, which shocked parents with little kids.

    The townhouse that blew up in 1971 was on the next block down from my grade school, PS 41. On the day that happened, we were sitting in second grade, doing a lesson, when we heard a “boom” that shook the building. Smoke came slowly down 11th Street, darkening it, and soon we heard zillions of sirens racing to the scene of the crime. When my mother picked me up, the whole area was cordoned off by cops.

    A few days later, a police detective came into our class, dressed in a trenchcoat, wearing a Gene Hackman porkpie hat, which he removed, to ask us if we had seen a naked woman running down 11th Street after the blast. She was sought in connection with the incident. Us being wise-ass second-graders growing up in the Village, we had a lot of answers. Mrs. Blume was shocked by our response.

    The detective thanked us for our time and stumped out of the class, muttering about “freaking smart-ass kids.”

    The good old days.

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