The '21' Club turns 75

Dec. 30, 2004 at 5:09 PM

NEW YORK, Dec. 30 (UPI) -- New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg declared New Year's Eve "The '21' Club Day" in honor of the famed speakeasy's 75th anniversary.

The club, founded at 21 West 52nd St. by cousins Jack Kriendler and Charlie Berns on Dec. 31, 1929, quickly became one of the most ingenious booze halls at avoiding the detection of federal agents during the United States' uneasy bout with Prohibition, the New York Post reported.

"We have second- and third-generation families that come here to dine with each other," said Bryan McGuire, the general manager of "21," where celebrities including Ernest Hemingway, Damon Runyon, Groucho Marx, John Steinbeck, Noel Coward, Edward R. Murrow, Katharine Hepburn, Henry Fonda, Alfred Hitchcock and Cole Porter all spent time eating and drinking throughout their years in the Big Apple.

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