A Greenwich Village bar that was a hotspot for literary legends like Ernest Hemingway and J.D. Salinger will not be reopening after the pandemic.
Chumley’s, located at 86 Bedford St., is sadly permanently closing, as reported by Untapped Cities. Though it doesn’t appear that the restaurant has made a statement (their website still says “temporary closed”), Untapped Cities discovered an auctioning website that was selling off much of the interior goods.
“This fabled West Village, NY location is closed for good and everything must be sold regardless of price,” it states. This includes commercial kitchen equipment, tufted leather booths, and the framed author portraits and book jackets that once adorned the walls.
It’s another sad loss for the city, as the bar had been there since 1922. It closed and reopened, and was reconstructed, a few different times over the years, but each iteration paid homage to its rich literary history.
The original owner, Lee Chumley, made it a refuge for writers and it had visitors like the aforementioned Hemingway and Salinger, as well as F. Scott Fitzgerald, Simone de Beauvoir and Jack Kerouac. Chumley used to hang their portraits and published works on the walls, which was a feature of the renovated Chumley’s as well.
It also often gets credit for coining the term to “eighty-six” something, ie: cancel, because guests were told to leave through the 86th St. entrance when they got a call that police were coming to raid the place during prohibition (there was another entrance on Pamela Court).
Here’s how the New York Times described it, “Chumley’s first quietly and selectively opened its unmarked door, inside a hidden courtyard at the end of an alley, during Prohibition. Flappers, sailors, actors, Wobblies, writers heading for fame and bohemians heading for nowhere ate and drank in its windowless rooms.”
featured image source: ChumleysNewYork.com