A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from May 23, 2021
Butlersburg (Empire City Race Track nickname)

The Empire City Racetrack (now called Yonkers Raceway & Empire City Casino) was part of the “Big Apple” racing circuit in the 1920s. “Big Apple” was popularized by New York (NY) Morning Telegraph track writer John J. Fitz Gerald.

The Morning Telegraph dubbed Empire City as “Butlersburg” after owner James Butler (1855-1934). ”On the Big Apple BRIGHT BREVITIES FROM BUTLERSBURG” was a column header in The Morning Telegraph on July 18, 1928. Butler died in 1934 and the “Butlersburg” nickname appears to be short-lived.

Wikipedia: Yonkers Raceway & Empire City Casino
Yonkers Raceway & Empire City Casino, founded in 1899 as the Empire City Race Track, is a one-half-mile standardbred harness racing dirt track and slots racino located at the intersection of Central Park Avenue and Yonkers Avenue in Yonkers, New York, near the New York City border. It is owned by MGM Growth Properties and operated by MGM Resorts International.

Wikipedia: James Butler (grocer)
James Butler (1855 – February 20, 1934) was an American businessman from New York and prominent owner of racehorses and racetracks. With his cousin, Mother Marie Joseph Butler, he founded Marymount College in Tarrytown, New York in memory of his late wife.
Horse racing
The stores made home deliveries, and when the horses grew old, they were retired to his estate in Westchester. By 1890, Butler had bought his first horses, and in 1893 acquired the EastView Stock Farm near Greenburgh and Mount Pleasant, New York. In early 1907, he purchased the closed Empire City Race Track, a “trotting” track, and reopened it for thoroughbred racing. (...) The J. Butler Saloon that opened on the first floor of the Yonkers Raceway grandstand in the early 1980s is named after him.

18 July 1928, The Morning Telegraph (New York, NY), pg. 20, col. 4:
On the Big Apple

18 July 1928, The Evening Sun (Baltimore, MD), “Most Anything,” pg. 24, col. 1:
YEA BO! THEY SURE MAKE ‘EM CLOSE AT BUTLERSBURG: Stand By did everything but that yesterday in the feature at Empire City.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CitySports/Games • Sunday, May 23, 2021 • Permalink