26 September 2013

Harvey's Chelsea House Bar Survives

Last December, I posted a long remembrance of a little-remembered old Chelsea bar and restaurant called Harvey's Chelsea House. It was one of those old, dark-wood, manly places from another era. It stood at 108 W. 18th Street and had a huge, vertical, three-story sign that said "Harvey's." Inside, there was a long bar, high ceilings, tile floors, beveled glass and a dining room in the back. I didn't know it at the time, but the joint had opened in 1889 (under some name or other) as one of the original Annhauser-Busch bars, and that bar was made of red, burled, Honduras mahogany. A man named Dick Harvey took it over in 1977, hence the name. 

After Harvey gave it up, the place remained closed for a while, then was reopened as Tonic by one Steve Tzolis, the principal owner of Il Cantinori, Periyali and Aureole, all restaurants in Manhattan. Tonic didn't work out, and the building was torn down in 2006. In my post, I wondered, "What became of the beautiful bar, the mahogany, the cast iron, the glass, the brass?"

Now I know. A sharp-eyed reader alerted me to the opening of a new place on 60th and Lex called, simply, The Bar Room. It is run by that same Steve Tzolis. And guess where Steve got the bar for his new place? That's right. It's the 124-year-old bar from Harvey's! According to Zagat, "A black and white checkerboard floor mirroring the original at Harvey’s."

Above is an old postcard of the bar at Harvey's. Below is a picture of the bar at The Bar Room. Looks like the same item to me. I will be visiting personally soon to find out in person. 

In the meantime, please enjoy this memory from a former waiter at Harvey's.


Anonymous said...

Loved Harvey's. And that massive cash register they had.

What about Brew's on East 34th? Haven't seen anything here about that place...

Anonymous said...

I loved Harvey's so much! Great ambiance; great food. I ate so much one time that I walked back home (Chelsea Hotel) and had a belly ache for hours. Glad to hear the bar is still being enjoyed!