17 October 2012

They Got the Number Right

The world is still waiting for Greenwich Village's classic speakeasy, Chumley's, to come back from the dead. But here's a good sign. The joint's iconic address is back up!

Many theorize that the term "86"—as in scram, nix that, lose that, get rid of that, cancel—derived from Chumley's address of 86 Bedford Street. Whenever the cops would raid the speakeasy, the bartender would get a heads up, and the patrons would quickly file out the back door into a courtyard that led to Barrow street. The customers were "86"'d.

I spoke to the new owner a few weeks ago. There had been various reports that the bar would open this fall. He told me the reports were inaccurate and that there was no guarantee that he's open for business by Dec. 31, although he wished he would. I could tell by the tone of his voice that he was doubtful he would, though.

However, seeing the old number 86 back where it belongs warms the heart.


Jill said...

In 1985 I lived for a brief moment in Los Angeles. There was an incessant tv commercial from a car dealership that shouted, 86 the 85's!"

Charles Coulombe said...

I had a book signing there in 2002, and at one time had three covers on the wall. Golly, but I miss it!