Posts Tagged ‘Fulton Street New York’

A long-gone tavern for poets and writers

July 3, 2010

From its earliest days, New York has never lacked for places to drink. One of the city’s most famous bars was the Shakespeare Tavern, at the corner of Nassau and Fulton Streets.

In the early 19th century, the Shakespeare—”distinguished for the superior character of its refreshments” according to one source—hit its stride as a gathering place for poets, writers, and actors . . . as well as the politicians, merchants, and wannabes who like to hang around them.

These would be all men of course; no woman would venture into a tavern then, and if she tried, she’d be barred at the door.

“The building was erected many year before the Revolution, but in 1822 a modern extension on Fulton Street, three stories high, was added . . . it soon became and long continued a great resort for the wits of the day,” states The Memorial History of the City of New-York, published in 1893.

“The ‘Shakespeare Tavern,’ in fact, was to New-York what the ‘Mermaid’ was to London in the days of Shakespeare.”  

[Photo: New York Public Library digital collection]