Keen's Chop House - NYC

The Lambs Room at Keens
I've recently reconnected with an old friend of mine via the web (wonderful thing, the web.) He is, and always has been an artist, a painter (more about that later). But for a period of time, quite a few years ago, in New York City, we were both begrudgingly employed as server and bartender, pushing Mutton Chops and Single Malt Scotch at Keen's Chop House on West 36th Street & Sixth Avenue.
The restaurant was originally a men's club founded in 1885 by Albert Keen, a notable figure in the Herald Square Theater District. It remained men only until 1905 when actress Lily Langtry, then paramour to King Edward of England, took Keen to court and won - soon enjoying a mutton chop of her own while wearing her famous feather boa. It paved the way for me of course, to be able to bartend there years later. The restaurant still remains today, and hasn't changed much in all these years. The same painted Lily who lounged behind me night after night, is reclining there still.

Keen's Chop House in the 1920s

The Bar with it's famous selection of Single Malt Scotch

The Lily Langtry Room

The Lincoln Room

The Bullmoose Room

Diners today...and yesterday...

A Keen's Banquet c.1938

Actress Lily Langtry, who looks like she hasn't had many Mutton Chops.

9 comments:

Robin said...

I think she's had a few chops, and they wen't right to her hips (just like me!).

twoladiesinwaiting said...

I would like to have a modified version of her corset for use with my thighs and bum.

Why am I so obsessed with the decor in old, white shoe steak houses? Is it because I'm a lesbian that men's club decor appeals? Is it the fact that they are reminiscent of libraries, but have the added benefit of 1) not having librarians that want their books back and 2) serve scotch?

Laura @ the shorehouse. said...

I never knew how beautiful it was inside! My old boyfriend lived above it -- in that tall rowhouse pictured in your photo (his windows would be the bottom row of three windows)-- and I never went inside. Likely because I'm a vegetarian, but that's a whole other issue I suppose. :-)

Now I want to pop in for a cocktail! Thank you for sharing.

A World in a PAN said...

The place looks still very masculine, very much like the men's club it was when you worked there. It also vreathes a warm atmosphere.

High Desert Diva said...

Beautiful place....great story.

LL's waist! Is it even 20"?

Sabina said...

How beautiful - wonderful post!!

Fifi Flowers said...

I want to go there! Sign me up for chop eating! And a bottle of red wine! YUM!!! No corset for moi!
How are you? I hope all is well with you!
Fifi

Pratishtha Durga said...

Wow! I love that old wrld charm that they have managed to keep alive. Lily surely doesn't look very well-fed to me too.

Bart Boehlert said...

What a nice site you have! I had lunch at Keen's last week and was going to blog about it. We share other interests too including Ct. and Paris. You might enjoy my blog
bartboehlert.blogspot.com

"It's never too late to be who you might have been." --George Eliot