Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Texas Guinan’ Category

texas-guinan-photo-post-cardWith the 75th Anniversary of Prohibition’s Repeal upon us, the ladies of LUPEC turn our thoughts to late, great Prohibition-era forebroads like Texas Guinan. We wrote a brief bio of the little devil in this week’s Dig; to read more about this actress-turned-Speakeasy-owner, check out Pinky Gonzales’ Women’s History Month toast on Tex.

Here are a few more fun facts* on the ol’ gal, for your reading pleasure:

  • When the Depression hit, Texas and the 40 chorus girls who worked her Speakeasy took the show on the road with plans to open in Paris. She was denied the permits necessary to open and entry to France. Ever the savvy marketer, Texas simply dubbed the show “Too Hot for Paris” and took the U.S. by storm.
  • “Miss Guinan was one of the finest and most grateful patients I have ever attended,” Dr. J. A. Machlachlan, who attended to Tex on her deathbed, told the New York Times. “She told me she had never touched alcohol in her life.”
  • Though she was infamous for having her joints raided and even padlocked by the fuzz, Tex never admitted to serving alcohol in her clubs.
  • Guinan has been credited with adding such gems to the vernacular as “butter and egg men” (to describe her well-heeled patrons) and for asking club goers to “give the little ladies a great, big hand.”
  • Texas closely studied contemporaries Lillian Russell and Mae West, and “while all three women could sing and act, only Texas could ride a horse (named Pieface) and shoot.”

*By facts we mean items we dredged up on her from old New York Times clippings and the Web. Tex wastexas_guinan-b larger than life and was commonly remembered that way; we invite you to take these anecdotes with a grain of salt.

Boston kicks off celebrations for the 75th Anniversary of Repeal Day TONIGHT at Eastern Standard! The staff will transform the restaurant into a Jazz Age Speakeasy, complete with barricaded entrance and guys and dolls dressed to the nines. Entrance to this party will cost ‘ya – $120 gets you pre-dinner canapes and cocktails (at 6:30 p.m.), dinner and cocktails (at 7:30 p.m.), dancing and more cocktails, with a late-night breakfast served for the last ones still standing circa-1 a.m. If you can’t make the scene ’til later, $40 gets you in for drinks, dancing, and mayhem at 10 p.m. Rumor has it Texas Guinan herself might be there – will you?

The actual anniversary of Prohibition’s Repeal is tomorrow, so you can keep the party going all night/day/night if you like. Why not stop toast Prohibition’s Repeal at a venue that occupies a former speakeasy’s space? The Marliave downtown fits this bill, as does Stanza dei Sigari in the North End. And remember, it’s always more fun if you dress up.

Cin cin!

Web

Read Full Post »

texas1

by Pinky Gonzales

…This was the standard greeting you’d likely receive from the jovial, peroxide blonde manning the house at one of several Manhattan speakeasies during Prohibition. Of course, this would foreshadow the spending of all your dough, on illegal hooch and tips for the showgirls. You’d happily fork over $25 (back then no chump change) for a fifth of Scotch, or $2 for a pitcher of water if you brought your own “booster”, and whatever else followed. texasclubsignThe place would probably be packed, open a few hours later than all the rest, and the wisecracking, witty pal of Mae West named Texas Guinan would be seeing to it you were having a darned good time.

Before being seduced into the world of club ownership through bartending and guest emceeing, Texas started out in Vaudville, then in Westerns as an actress and producer. 1917’s The Wildcat introduced America’s first movie cowgirl.
1926_burlesque_drena_beach
Her nite club career included “the grandaddy of speakeasies,” the El Fey Club, opened in 1924 with gangster Larry Fey. Later came Club Intime, a Dorothy Parker hangout and subterranean spot near Times Square where entry would involve a steep staircase, two bouncers and a peephole. There was also the Rendezvous, the 300 Club, the Argonaut, the Century, the Salon Royal, and Tex Guinan’s. Infamous for being hauled off to the pokey on a regular basis and having her joints shut down by Feds, Texas enjoyed having the band strikeup “The Prisoner’s Song” on her way out the door. And always would she deny selling anything but “mixers” to at her clubs, noting “a man could get hurt falling off a bar stool!” Re-opening after raids, she would sometimes wear a necklace of gold padlocks just to show the cops there were no hard feelings. guntex1_1She worked tirelessly until age 49, when she was stricken by illness and passed away. 12,000 attended her 1933 funeral procession in Manhattan, and a month later to the day of her death, Prohibition was repealed. Looks like a Women’s History Month toast is in store for this gal!

SCOFF LAW COCKTAIL (what else?)
1 oz rye whiskey
1 oz dry vermouth
.75 oz fresh lemon juice
.75 oz green Chartreuse (or pomegranate grenadine according to some recipes – also excellent)
2 dashes orange bitters
Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Cheers!

Read Full Post »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 3,317 other followers