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Food & Drink Top News

NYC’s Famed Prohibition-Era ’21 Club’ Is Officially Closing

Another historic loss for the city's dining scene

Claire Leaden Claire Leaden

NYC’s Famed Prohibition-Era ’21 Club’ Is Officially Closing

Midtown’s iconic 21 Club first opened its doors during prohibition in the 1930s, and now it will be closing them 90 years later.

The restaurant, which has been at the top of many “best restaurants in NYC” lists, and frequented by celebrities, will be taking an extended hiatus — with no future plans in the works.

“In light of the ongoing global crisis and anticipated extended recovery period for the hospitality industry, the difficult decision was made that it will not be feasible to reopen the 21 Club in its current form for the foreseeable future,” a spokesperson said this weekend, according to NBC News.

“At this early stage, we are not ready to announce any final concept or timeframe, but the vision is that 21 Club will always remain an important social and cultural hub and icon of New York, one that is well positioned to fulfill its role in the City’s exciting future when the time comes,” the statement continued, which does offer some hope it will not be forgotten.

Still, Eater reports that 148 employees will be permanently laid off come March 2021.

Ornamental jockeys famously line the entrance, donated by some of the best-known stables in American thoroughbred racing. 21club.com

In the ’30s, the 21 Club became one of the most popular speakeasies during the prohibition era. And each element of the current restaurant pays homage to that history. Its famous wrought-iron gate dates back to 1926, its walls are lined with original artwork the first owners collected, and its wine cellar is hidden by camouflaged doors since it once held their liquor stash.

Though it may not be gone for good, it is still sad to see historic New York disappear for the foreseeable future.

featured image source: Facebook / 21 Club

In other, more positive news: New Yorker Is The First Person In The U.S. To Officially Receive COVID-19 Vaccine