Chumley's

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Description

Chumley's is a historic pub and former speakeasy at 86 Bedford Street between Grove and Barrow Streets in the West Village neighborhood of Greenwich Village, Manhattan, New York City. It was established in 1922 by the socialist activist Leland Stanford Chumley, who converted a former blacksmith's shop near the corner of Bedford and Barrow Streets into a Prohibition-era drinking establishment. The speakeasy became a favorite spot for influential writers, poets, playwrights, journalists, and activists, including members of the Lost Generation and the Beat Generation movements.HistorySome features remain from Chumley's Prohibition-era history. Notably, the Barrow Street entrance has no exterior sign, being located at the end of a nondescript courtyard ("The Garden Door"), while the Bedford Street entrance, which opens to the sidewalk, is also unmarked. Inside, Chumley's is still equipped with the trap doors and secret stairs that composed part of its elaborate subterfuge.It is also rumored that the term "86" originated when an unruly guest was escorted out the Bedford St. door, which held the address "86 Bedford St." A different version referencing Chumley's is offered in Jef Klein's book The History and Stories of the Best Bars of New York: "When the cops would very kindly call ahead before a raid, they'd tell the bartender to '86' his customers, meaning they should scram out the 86 Bedford door, while the police would come to the Pamela Court entrance."

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