'21' (as the Twenty One Club is known) is the quintessential New York dining experience, offering its patrons superb American cuisine, an award-winning wine list and unparalleled service in a comfortable brownstone setting.
The history of '21' is a storied one. During the Prohibition Era in New York, as in every American city, 'speakeasies' mushroomed. But none was more celebrated than 'Jack and Charlie's '21', founded by two collegian cousins from the West Side, Jack Kriendler and Charlie Berns.
Under the inspired management, '21' quickly became one of the most exclusive establishments in town, a place where the young socialites of the Roaring Twenties could spend wild nights dancing the Charleston and enjoying wines and spirits of the finest quality.
Although '21' was raided more than once, Federal Agents were never able to pin anything on Jack and Charlie. At the first sign of a raid, they would activate an ingenious system of pulleys and levers, which would sweep bottles from the bar shelves and hurl the smashed remains down a chute into the New York sewer system!
It was during this period that '21's famous secret Wine Cellar was built. Its two-ton door was operated by placing a meat skewer into a tiny hole in a certain brick. Would-be investigators were further confused by the fact that the cellar was located not in number 21, but number 19, the house next door.
A 2008 renovation of truly majestic proportions replaced the old bar with a brand new one, a slightly narrower version that is, in most respect, almost the same. All of the modern retouches have affected the historic authenticity of the bar, certainly, but the ambiance of the place remains the same.
Address: 21 W 52nd St
Hours And Additional Info
Price: Very Expensive. About $50 and up per person.
21 Club (Twenty One Club) Information
21 Club (Twenty One Club) Tips
1. Dress code relaxed
Gentlemen take note: Ties are still preferred and greatly appreciated, but they are no longer a must.
2. Private Rooms
21's townhouse environment is superbly adaptable and offers a choice of settings, which are both elegant and convenient. With nine character-rich private rooms of varying size, 21's accommodations are suitable for events (large and small) that can range from an intimate dinner to a reception for 1,000.
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