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01.14.2021 (3 Days Ago)
The Hidden Dining Room
The Hidden Dining Room
3 days ago 9 comments Categories: City Blogs Tags:

When the 21 Club announced that it was yet another casualty of Covid-19, I thought about that special lunch in August of 2018 when Flo and I - with several other Gotham members - enjoyed the rare experience of eating in the restaurant’s once secret underground dining room.
During the years of Prohibition, the “privileged” of New York could still partake with their meals in the safety of the 21 Club’s special dining room.
We met by the bar and were taken through the kitchen and down a narrow staircase. A few twists and turns through narrow passageways led to a small doorway.  You had to step over a drainage pipe and duck to get through the door. When closed, the doorway was camouflaged and unrecognizable.
Inside, the single table took up the entire room which was surrounded by walls of wine racks. Wines of years and years ago.
A sense of history engulfed us. When the door was closed, you had the sense that you could remain undetected for years — precisely what was intended.
As we enjoyed the meal and compnay,  I had the sense that the experience was very special. A rare opportunity made possible by Gotham’s Fred and Nancy.
Oftentimes, I would have let an opportunity like this pass me by - confident that it would present itself again.
With last month's announcement by the 21 Club, I am happy that I didn’t let that one get away.

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  •  Fred wrote 3 Days Ago (positive) 
     
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    Mayor Jimmy Walker had his own table in there when it was a Speakeasy.
     
       
     
     
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  •  CarlyMeyer wrote 3 Days Ago (neutral) 
     
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    I often look back on pictures we took, as a Gotham group. The one in the Friars Club comes to mind. We stood together, in a big party, hugging and talking closely. Those moments mean so much. In Hindsight , we should all attend the party, buy the shoes, take the trip and eat the cake.
     
       
     
     
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  •  Daniel_Schwartz wrote 3 Days Ago (neutral) 
     
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    Another example of seizing the moment today and now. Sad to see these historic places close down. I never had good fortune to eat there.
     
       
     
     
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  •  Victoria_Drogin wrote 3 Days Ago (neutral) 
     
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    That was an incredible experience. Truly memorable. There have been many. Friars Club events, as well as the lunches and casual get together for drinks or coffee that I totally took for granted. Thanks for the occasion to remember.
     
       
     
     
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  •  ShelleySimpson wrote 3 Days Ago (neutral) 
     
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    Did you notice that the memory brought you pleasure and then by sharing it you acted as a catalyst for the rest of us to enjoy a memory or two? Thanks for the memories! Let's make some new ones!
     
       
     
     
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  •  Corey_Bearak wrote 3 Days Ago (positive) 
     
    1
    Such a shame when land Mark places go. It could be places like Freedom Land (now Coop City in the Bronx, Adventurers Inn in Flushing, Flushing Airport, obviously 21, and so many more.
     
       
     
     
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  •  Kelly_Welles wrote 3 Days Ago (neutral) 
     
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    Such a special memory. I never knew about the underground room. I'm not sure how comfortable I would feel disappearing behind hidden trompe'loeil doors. Such a storied place. Reminds me of a date I had with Assemblyman Andrew Stein. He was late from political stomping so sent a limo to take me to "21" for an 11 PM dinner. We had the entire restaurant to ourselves. I was impressed but not enough for a second date!
     
       
     
     
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  •  Nancy_Schess wrote 3 Days Ago (neutral) 
     
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    It was such a special place and yes, a special memory. So glad we did it when we did it.
     
       
     
     
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  •  CarlyMeyer wrote 2 Days Ago (neutral) 
     
    0
    Was this the meeting I attended? I think I was there.
     
       
     
     
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