All posts tagged: speakeasy

Pole-Dancing? Puppet Show? Nah, Burger Joint Baptism

Finally, I will round off our recent short trip to New York with this place. Check it out next time you’re in mid-town Manhattan (as you do). In the Parker Meridien Hotel on West 56th Street is a “secret” burger joint, (called “Burger Joint”, got that?..). It is so secret that we had stayed there a few days before we discovered it. I kind of knew it was there, but we just wondered why hordes of tourists and bus-loads of visitors were turning up to queue just at the back of the pristine lobby of the hotel next to a floor-length red velvet curtain. We thought it was some sort of Theatre or Puppet Show or maybe a bit of clandestine pole-dancing. ¬†Must be a good show, whatever it is, we thought, as the queues were enormous and seemed to be there most of the day. Eventually we asked at the desk, and yes, you guessed it, behind the red curtain is the burger bar. Okaaaaay. Reviews say this is one of the best burgers …

Table 30 at 21 Club – where Bogart met Bacall

Heard of the 21 Club, or just “21” as it is often known? you probably have, and if you haven’t you have probably seen it or heard of it in one of the 40 or so films and TV series it has featured or been referenced in.¬† 21 Club is a New York icon. It is one of the last remaining original New York “Speakeasies”. It opened in 1930 at 21 West 52nd Street and was raided many times during the prohibition period, although the owners were apparently never caught. A system of levers was used to tip the shelves of the bar so that the bottles of booze would slide down a chute and into the city’s sewers if a police raid was underway. The Club also had a secret wine cellar located (and still located) in the basement of the neighbouring building (which was previously accessed through a hidden door in a brick wall). 21 is also a haunt for movies stars, Presidents and celebrities (although apparently President Obama hasn’t yet made it …