A wood telephone booth hides on 54th Street

After an 88-year run in a townhouse on East 54th Street, Bill’s Gay Nineties closed in 2012.


The shuttering of the former speakeasy turned saloon and restaurant was a big loss for New Yorkers who love a time warp and a mahogany bar.

BillsphoneboothReopened and rechristened Bill’s, it’s a cleaned-up version of the old place, with much of the same decor, framed old photos, and finishings (and the silver dollars long embedded into the floor).

And luckily, the old wood telephone booth (with a phone with separate coin slots for quarters, dimes, and nickels!) off to the side of the front doors is still in place as well.

Sightings of wood phone booths are rare in Manhattan, so it’s a relief that this one wasn’t turned into a coat check or closet.

But why in the world does the staff keep one of those yellow wet-floor warning signs in there?


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4 Responses to “A wood telephone booth hides on 54th Street”

  1. Joseph Says:

    Don’t support the new “Bills”, they’ve done nothing but rape the soul of the best bar/restaurant in NYC

  2. Alex Says:

    I went to the old Bill’s Gay 90s a couple of times in the 1990s for business luncheons and I actually remember that phone booth. I;m glad they decided to keep it.

  3. A Midtown bar that still has a wood phone booth | Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] booth? Check out how similar its shape is to these, spotted at the Park Avenue Armory in 2010, and this one, at Bill’s on 54th Street, ID’d in […]

  4. Michael Morris Says:

    First “grown up” place I ever say down and watched the entertainment (seen on all 3 floors). Guessing that was 1958 and I was 15 and with my Uncle Harry.

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