White Horse Tavern

White Horse Tavern

Greenwich Village

We’ve lost far too many great old restaurants, bars, and hsitorical buildings over the years, thankfully a few have survived, like John’s of East 12th Street, McSorley’s Ale House, Th Old Town Bar, and the White Horse Tavern, which recently changed ownership and had New Yorker’s worried we’d lose another great old joint. In the past few years, sadly we lost DeRobertis Italian Pastry Shop and Lanza’s Restaurant two doors away from DeRobertis. This great old Sicilian-American food establishments were both more than 110 years old before shuttering their doors for the final time. It’s an absolute “Sin” we lost these two great old Italian spots, that are irreplaceable.

Well back to the White Horse Tavern on Hudson Street in Greenwich Village. Yes we all had quite a scare when the White Horse closed a few months ago. Luckily, it was just temporary. The new owners have re-opened the place and promise to keep the charming old decor much the same, though the type of food and place the White Horse will be, is going to change. We here, the place is going to have a more upscale (expensive) menu, akin to places like Minetta Tavern and what Chumley’s became, after the building collapsed, was re-built, then Chumley’s was re-opened not as the modest (inexpensive) casual old bar of Greenwich Village that it was its whole life, it re-opened as another Minetta Tavern / Waverly Inn wannabe (expensive). Cocktails are $15, tax and tip, which comes to about $20 a drink. That’s not cheap. Three  drinks there will cost you about Sixty Dollars. Dylan Thomas would be appalled.

Now we have nothing against these higher-priced restaurants that take over great old Greenwich Village spots (or do we), we’re just reporting, and stating facts. The facts are, that you can’t get a cheaper dinner at these place, and so they are just about prohibitive to a certain portion of the population. No longer spots for starving artists, writers, or Beat Poets.

Now  a little on the history of the beloved White Horse Tavern of Greenwich Village. The bar opened in 1880, at which time it was primarily a bar that longshoremen, sailors, and other blue-collar workers frequented. In the 1950s the White Horse Tavern (nicknamed “Horse”) had become favored by writers, artists, and poets. One poet in particular who frequented the White Horse was the Welsh Poet Dylan Thomas, who after having 18 shots of Whiskey at “The Horse,” collapsed outside in front of the White Horse, and was taken to St. Vincent’s Hospital nearby, where he later died. Jack Kerouac, Anis Ninn, Jim Morrison, Bob Dylan, James Baldwin, and Mary Travers (of Peter Paul & Mary) also frequented the White Horse Tavern over the years.

Dylan Thomas

At the Bar







The White Horse Tavern

Circa 1920s