2. Chumley’s is likely responsible for coining the term to “86” something

If you’ve ever heard the term to “86” something (I tend to think of a waitress at a diner telling the cook to “86 those pancakes”…ie, cancel them), you may not know it originated right here in New York Citythough its original meaning is slightly different from how it’s used now. 

“During Prohibition, the cops were on the payroll, so before they raided the place, they would call and say ‘86 your customers’ which was code for ‘send them out 86 Bedford Street,” Borgognone said. “And then they would come in the other entrance, at 58 Barrow Street. When the cops arrived, the place was empty.”

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2 thoughts on “The Top 10 Secrets of Chumley’s, the Greenwich Village Speakeasy from 1922

  1. No, Chumley’s DID NOT coin the term “86” (eighty-six). The first known citation (in Walter Winchell’s column) came from California, and was found by me years ago. Before anyone says that Chumley’s coined “86,” shouldn’t there be one piece of documentary evidence presented?

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