White Horse Tavern now run by an infamous pair who vow to preserve its ‘rich history’

Posted On Thu, March 7, 2019 By

Posted On Thu, March 7, 2019 By In Restaurants, West Village 

Via Flickr

A beloved 140-year-old West Village bar known for its famous poet and artist clientele has been sold. The new owner of White Horse Tavern, which opened on Hudson Street in 1880, is Steve Croman, a notorious landlord who served prison time for tenant harassment, as Jeremiah’s Vanishing New York first reported. And on top of that unsavory news, the historic bar will be run by restauranteur Eytan Sugarman, who recently made headlines for his copycat pepperoni slice at Made In New York that looks identical to that of Prince Street Pizza. But Sugarman told Eater NY he’s taking the bar’s historic details into account. “We are only focused on preserving the rich history and legacy of this iconic institution for New Yorkers,” he said.


White Horse Tavern interior via Wikimedia

While you’re less likely to run into the sailors and bohemian writers once served, the bar, nicknamed “The Horse,” continues to have a modest, low-key vibe. After all, it first started out as a late-night haunt for dock workers coming from the Hudson River piers.

But that may change with Sugarman behind the wheel. In addition to Made In New York, the restauranteur owns Southern Hospitality, which was once linked to Justin Timberlake, and the steakhouse Hunt & Fish Club, co-owned by Anthony Scaramucci. Rolling Stone described the Times Square club as looking like “the classiest strip club in Bayonne, New Jersey” in a review published last year.

Scaramucci tweeted on Thursday that he has “nothing to do” with the sale.

Commercial Observer reported Wednesday that the sellers, Eddie Brennan and James Munson, can now retire as Sugarman signed a 15-year lease for 2,000 square feet, which includes the bar, two retail spaces, and 32 apartments. James Famularo, who brokered the deal with Meridian Capital Group, told Commercial Observer: “Eytan Sugarman will run it exactly as it’s been for the past 140 years.”

Infrastructure upgrades will be made, but no other renovation plans have been announced, according to Eater.

During the 1950s, the bar became popular with writers and artists, with literary patrons including James Baldwin, Norman Mailer, Jack Kerouac, Bob Dylan, and Dylan Thomas. Thomas, a poet from Wales, allegedly downed 18 shots of whiskey in 1953, stumbled outside and collapsed, and later died at St. Vincent Hospital. Pictures of him still adorn the walls today, with a plaque commemorating his final trip to the bar found above the counter.

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Neighborhoods : West Village

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