The ghosts that haunt a Hell’s Kitchen tavern

Ephemeral New York

Landmarktavern2When the Landmark Tavern opened in 1868 at 11th Avenue and 46th Street, the Hudson River was just one block over (no 12th Avenue in those days).

The modest saloon catered to hungry and thirsty dockworkers and merchant seaman in what used to be a mostly Irish immigrant neighborhood.

Through the 1980s it was a favorite of the Westies, a violent Irish gang.

Now, it’s a hangout for locals and tourists. And ghosts, apparently. Rumor has it that three in particular rattle around the old mahogany bar and the upstairs rooms.

Landmarktavern1936One is the spirit of George Raft, “the Hollywood tough guy who grew up in Hell’s Kitchen,” wrote John Strausbaugh in a wonderful 2007 New York Times article.

“His ghost is said to haunt the bar, along with that of a Confederate Civil War veteran who, knifed in a fight, staggered up to the second floor to die in a bathtub…

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