Officially opened on January 1, 1930, '21' is one of America’s most famous speakeasies from the Prohibition Era. Designed with its own disappearing bar and a secret wine cellar to hide the illegal liquor from prying eyes, it’s a place where celebrities and captains of industry have wined and dined for more than 80 years. Raids by police and federal tax officers during the Prohibition Era were persistent and frequent. This led many club owners to go to great lengths to hide their illegal liquor. Jack and Charlie did just that when they employed architect Frank Buchanan to design a complex system of camouflaged doors, invisible chutes, revolving bars and a secret wine cellar to hide and destroy the evidence. Rather cleverly, the wine cellar was not actually part of the '21' building at all, but the basement of No. 19 next door. So when the authorities asked the bar staff if they had any liquor on the premises, they could honestly say no! In reality, it housed 2,000 cases of wine, including the private collections of Presidents Gerald Ford and Richard Nixon, Elizabeth Taylor, Sophia Loren, Mae West, Eva Gabor and Aristotle Onassis. Today, it’s filled with some of the finest wines in the world, including Montrachet 1898, Petrus ’82, Romanee-Conti 1880 and Chateau Lafite-Rothschild—no wonder it’s widely considered to be one of the world’s most coveted private dining rooms.
This is a historic and iconic NYC institution. It's expensive, but worth the price. Once a speakeasy, they still make the drinks stiff and delicious. The chocolate soufflé is world-famous. I'd also get the steak tartare.
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- Mon - Thu: 12:00 pm - 10:00 pm
- Fri, Sat: 12:00 pm - 11:00 pm
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