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.

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Entry from May 26, 2018
“New Yorkiest place in town” (Stork Club)

What place in New York City can be described as the “New Yorkiest”? “Is that the New Yorkiest place in town?” was printed in a 1915 novel, referring to Sherry’s, an exclusive restaurant operated by Louis Sherry (1855-1926). “It (Greenwich Village—ed.) is the New Yorkiest place in the world, and less like New York than any other inhabiited spot on the face of the globe” was printed in newspapers in June 1919.

Sherman Billingsley’s Stork Club on West 58th Street in Manhattan opened in 1929. The club really made it in October 1930, when columnist Walter Winchell (1897-1972) wrote:

“The Stork Club is perhaps New York’s New Yorkiest place on W. 58th.”

Winchell would visit the Stork Club often, and the “New Yorkiest” description became famous. The Stork Club closed in 1965.


Wikipedia: Stork Club
The Stork Club was a nightclub in Manhattan, New York City, which during its existence from 1929 to 1965 was one of the most prestigious clubs in the world. A symbol of café society, the wealthy elite, including movie stars, celebrities, showgirls, and aristocrats all mixed in the VIP Cub Room of the club.

The club was established on West 58th Street in 1929 by Sherman Billingsley, a former bootlegger from Enid, Oklahoma.

Google Books
A Reluctant Adam
By Sidney Williams
Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Company
1915
Pg. 274:
“Where shall it be?”

“Oh, anywhere.” Such trust imposed heavy responsibility.

“Sherry’s?” he suggested.

“If you like it,” she agreed. “Is that the New Yorkiest place in town?” “It’s the most abandoned adventure of Knickerbocker dowagers; but the cooking is tremendously good.”

4 June 1919, Pittsburgh (PA) Gazette Times, “Greenwich Village” by Winifred Black, fifth sec., pg. 6, col. 7:
It (Greenwich Village—ed.) is the New Yorkiest place in the world, and less like New York than any other inhabiited spot on the face of the globe.


23 October 1930, Akron (OH) Beacon Journal, “On Broadway” by Walter Winchell, pg. 21, col. 1:
The Stork Club is perhaps New York’s New Yorkiest place on W. 58th....But what I started out to report was this unusual line on its menus:

“No ladies permitted after 6 p.m., unless accompanied by male escorts.”...For which the management rates at least one lusty cheer...It keeps wives from suddenly startling husbands.

29 October 1930, New Orleans (LA) Item, “On Broadway” by Walter Winchell, pg. 10, col. 6:
The Stork Club is perhaps New York’s New Yorkiest place on W. 58th....But what I started out to report was this unusual line on its menus:

“No ladies permitted after 6 p.m., unless accompanied by male escorts.”...For which the management rates at least one lusty cheer...It keeps wives from suddenly startling husbands.

Old Fulton NY Post Cards
24 August 1941, Syracuse (NY) Herald-American, “Walter Winchell On Broadway,” pg. 9A, col. 2:
Things You Never Knew About Winchell
By SHERMAN BILLINGSLEY
(...)
Winchell made my reputation as a New York night club host, and he made the reputation of the Stork Club the same day. I had a little “speak” over on East 58th Street and was having the usual troubles that went with operating such an establishment. Then one morning in Winchell’s column, not yet syndicated, there appeared this item: “The New Yorkiest place in New York is the Stork.” I didn’t think much of it at the moment. But that night, I saw more top hats, white ties and jewels in my place than I had ever seen in my life.

I didn’t ask Winchell to print that now famous line. I’ve never asked him to mention me or the Stork, and never will. He’s never asked me for a thing, either.

June 1949, Hearst’s International Combined with Cosmopolitan (New York, NY), “Winchell’s New York,” pg. 52, col. 3:
The Stork Club is perhaps New York’s New Yorkiest place…

Google Books
On the House
By Matty Simmons and Don Simmons
New York, NY: Coward-McCann
1955
Pg. 19:
Soon, Billingsley’s “New Yorkiest place in town” was about the busiest place in town.

Google Books
Winchell, His Life and Times
By Herman Klurfeld
New York, NY: Praeger
1976
Pg. 54:
He looked and raved in print: “The New Yorkiest place in New York is the Stork Club!” Billingsley later claimed that after the Winchell plug “I started banking $10,000 a week.”

Google Books
The Men Who Invented Broadway:
Damon Runyon, Walter Winchell & Their World

By John Mosedale
New York, NY: R. Marek Publishers
1981
Pg. 204:
From the day Texas Guinan suggested to Walter that he might want to give a great big hand to Billingsley, who had just opened the Stork, and Walter responded with a compelling claim in his column, “The New Yorkiest place in New York is the Stork Club,” to a final break between the two men decades later, Walter plugged the Stork relentlessly.

Google Books
Winchell: Gossip, Power and the Culture of Celebrity
By Neal Gabler
New York, NY: Vintage
1995, ©1994
Pg. 188:
Buried deep in the column that September, Walter wrote, “The Stork Club perhaps is New York’s New Yorkiest place on W. 58th,” and went on to report a line on the menu warning, “No ladies without male escorts permitted after 6:00 p.m.” (...) A few weeks later on his Wise Shoes radio program, he broadened the plug.  Now, he said, “The New Yorkiest spot in New York is the Stork Club on West 58th Street which entices the well knowns form all divisions nightly.”

Twitter
The STORK CLUB
@storkclubNY
Walter Winchell immortalize the Stork Club by calling it ‘New York’s New Yorkiest Place’
8:25 PM - 8 May 2010

Facebook
The Stork Club
October 8, 2017 ·
In September 1930, Winchell called the Stork Club “New York’s New Yorkiest place on W. 58th” in his New York Daily Mirror column. That evening, the Stork Club was filled with moneyed guests. Someone else who read Winchell’s column in 1930 was singer-actress Helen Morgan, who had just finished filming a movie on Long Island. Morgan decided to hold a cast party at the Stork Club, paying the tab with two $1,000 bills http://ow.ly/xsbo30flrSS

Twitter
The STORK CLUB
@storkclubNY
Today we remember the man who coined The Stork Club as “New York’s New Yorkiest place,” columnist Walter Winchell. He wore his fedora cocked to the side while cigarette ash dusted his typewriter keys. He treated words like hand grenades, lobbing them… http://ow.ly/llDj30j9efa
9:10 AM - 7 Apr 2018

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityRestaurants/Bars/Coffeehouses/Food Stores • Saturday, May 26, 2018 • Permalink