My on the ground West Greenwich connection pointed out this article “Belly Up! Old Hemingway Haunt Chumley’s Could Reopen by Spring – City inches toward approving wrecked Village watering hole’s restoration” in NY Observer (Dec. 3rd 2007 edition which is in 4 days).
My attempt to drink at this noted literary haunt which oozes with counter-culture history from the underground railroad to prohibition to dog laws (damn health authorities), was thwarted by de-construction and i was met by a mass of scaffolding rather than a tasty pint. You can follow along on my ill-fated, personalized tour at: NYC Speakeasy Stroll with Bubble Bands and Falafel Bars – Choogle on #45.
[photo Wally G The interior of Chumley’s, pre-collapse.]
So what’s going on? A conundrum betwixt landlord, leaseholders, building permits and neighbors and drinkers … here’s a snippet fromt he Observer article by Chris Shott,
Nearly eight months after a brick wall collapsed, forcing famed Greenwich Village tavern Chumley’s to indefinitely lock up its notably unmarked entrance, the once illustrious literary haunt remains a mere shell of its former self.
Barely a shell, even; the old bar is beyond gutted.
“A gutted building implies that there are walls standing,” said Steve Shlopak, proud proprietor of the former Prohibition-era speakeasy turned fully liquor-licensed landmark turned much-lamented pile of rubble at 86 Bedford Street.
“There are only two walls that are still up,” Mr. Shlopak said. “The rest of the building is held up with construction scaffolding. There is no ceiling and there is no floor; it’s just a dirt hole.
“It’s almost as if you’re watching an old World War II film,” he added. “You know how soldiers would gather in the corner of a bombed-out farmhouse where just two walls are still up? That’s what we’ve got here.”
I took the liberty of commenting at the Observer’s remarkably decent site, thusly (pardon the redundancy):
As an enthusiast of tasty beer and quality literature, I was disappointed to find the scaffolding surrounding the building on a recent trip from Vancouver BC. I recorded a Choogle on! podcast while out and about in the village so all was not lost (i love falafel at 3AM). I’ll be watching for the reopen and hope to make another trip east from the idyllic left coast to imbibe a few pints in the legendary atmosphere.