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 July 16, 2009

Entry in progress—B.P.

Historical Dictionary of American Slang
nitery n. Journ. a nightclub. Now colloq. or S.E.
1934 Weseen Dict. Amer. Slang 147: Nitery—A night club.
1936 Esquire (Sept.) 159: Some hot nitery (night club).
1954 New Yorker (May 8) 100: A man feels the need to step out into the bright world of the niteries.
1960 Time (Aug. 22) 46: San Francisco’s six banjo bars are respectable, all-beer niteries with red-checked tablecloths.
1966 L.A. Times (Mar. 5) I 18: Youngsters commandeered the Sunset Strip for their rock ‘n’ roll antics, so several nitery operators catering to adults decided to “move out.”
1973 Business Week (Nov. 24) 83: The best niteries in town are small and filled with modern jazz, folk, and rock music.

Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary
Main Entry: nit·ery
Variant(s): also nit·er·ie \ˈnī-tə-rē\
Function: noun
Inflected Form(s): plural nit·er·ies
Etymology: nite + -ery (as in eatery); niterie from nite + French -erie -ery
Date: circa 1934
: nightclub

(Oxford English Dictionary)
nitery, n.
colloq. (orig. U.S.).
[< NITE n.2 + -ERY suffix. In forms in -erie perhaps after French loans with the same ending; compare BRASSERIE n., CHARCUTERIE n. In forms in night- re-formed after NIGHT n.]
A nightclub.
1934 M. H. WESEEN Dict. Amer. Slang x. 147 Nitery, a night club.
1935 Vanity Fair (N.Y.) Nov. 38/1 We’ll never catch a wire in a decent nitery.
1955 J. B. PRIESTLEY & J. HAWKES Journey down Rainbow 129 All darkened niteries and dimmed hot spots.
1978 Washington Post (Nexis) 12 May (Weekend section) 1 You can still find an occasional ‘new wave’ group at Louie’s Rock City and The Atlantis, a new downtown nightery.
2000 W. SHAW Westsiders 198, I arrive, foolishly early, at 9.30 p.m. at the ugly seventies niterie that King has booked.

31 October 1933, (Madison, WI), “Roundy Says,” pg. 12, col. 6:
Lou Holtz, who during yesteryear quit grammar school and today is one of the better comedians, gets $1,000 a performance at a N’Yawk nitery while his brother peddles hardware for a living.

23 June 1934, Hammond (IN) Times, pg. 9, col. 5:
The Blackhawk management is of the opinion that Kemp appeals to the younger element of nitery habitues and, as they make up a greater portion of the trade, the oldsters who went for Simons have to suffer deprivation.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityRestaurants/Bars/Coffeehouses/Food Stores • (0) Comments • Thursday, July 16, 2009 • Permalink