R.I.P. Chumleys

It is with heavy heart that I report the permanent closure of Chumley’s bar, an NYC institution, just months shy of its centennial anniversary. Chumley’s is just the latest in a series of businesses to succumb to the Covid-19 crisis, all the more painful because it dates all the way back to 1922. It was originally a Speakeasy and always maintained a secret entrance and lack of outside signage from Prohibition days along with secret trapdoors and similar fun features inside. For many of us who didn’t grow up here it was one of the first NYC bars we knew, a sort of rite of passage, because someone would always say “You HAVE to go to Chumley’s”. Back in the day it was frequented by the likes of Eugene O’Neill, John Steinbeck, Ring Lardner, Theodore Dreiser, John Dos Passos, William Faulkner, e.e. cummings, Willa Cather, etc. This wasn’t just a bar — this was an important part of New York, a slice of the Old Bohemian Greenwich Village. Add it to the list of things we loved that were “86ed” by Donald Trump.

Thanks to Kevin Fitzpatrick for the tip. Glad I heard it from you.