9. They had a resident historian who helped revive the new bar to its former glory

Historian and archivist James DiPaolo frequented Chumley’s throughout the ‘90s, and was even there when the chimney fell through. “We knew we wanted to keep the history alive and as an homage to the past, we kept the former book jackets and author portraits that had been hanging in Chumley’s since the beginning,” Borgognone said. He said the process was pretty seamless thanks to DiPaolo, who had been a customer for many years prior to its closure.

“Outside of the portraits and [book] jackets though,” Borgognone continued. “We wanted to restore the place and give it a little 1920s-centered glamour which we accomplished with the lighting, the marble frame on the fireplace, the leather banquets and the textured wallpaper.” Wondering about the bulldog in the fireplace? A former owner was a fan of bulldogs and the bronze sculptures are from that period, possibly a model of the owners’ actual dogs. Guests still come in and ask if the real bulldogs are still around, we’re told. 

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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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