THE HISTORY OF CARROLL PLACE
The name ‘Carroll Place’ is the original 1830′s name for the section of Bleecker Street between Thompson Street and La Guardia Place, developed by Thomas E. Davis as a prestigious residential neighborhood. Named in honor of Charles Carroll, the last surviving signer of the Declaration of Independence.
In 1860 the street Carroll Place was changed to Bleecker Street as it was extended all the way to Bowery. Many of the houses on the block were converted into boarding houses.
In 1890, 157 Bleecker Street housed The Slide Gay Bar and Brothel. The Slide was the first publicly acknowledged gay bar in New York City and was dubbed the “wickedest place in New York City.” Eventually The Slide closed a few years later after being shut down by police and was briefly reopened in 1901 as The Silvestri Bar before being converted in 1903 to a home for Luigi Fugazzi. Fugazzi was a prominent Italian-American who was knighted Cavaliere by the Italian government (among other awards) and who also served as President of Societa Italiana di Beneficenza. Fugazzi passed away in 1930 and the home was sold in 1934.
In 1976 157 Bleecker St. returned to prominence when Patrick Kenny moved the then supper club Kenny’s Castaway to Bleecker and Thompson and reopened as a music venue to showcase diverse up and coming talent. For many years Kenny’s Castaway featured artists such as Bruce Springsteen, Aerosmith, New York Dolls, Yoko Ono, Patti Smith and many more. After more than 40 years Kenny’s Castaway closed.
In 2013 Sergio Riva began a complete renovation of the 180-year-old space. To pay homage to the building, its history and roots construction re-purposed the original wall paneling, shelving, and 180-year old floors and wood beams throughout. Even Kenny’s old stair case railings were reused. Artifacts dating back to the early 1800’s that were unearthed during construction are displayed throughout the establishment.
In March of 2014 Carroll Place Gastropub and Wine bar opened featuring Italian American cuisine. To keep on the tradition of the building a state of the art sound system was installed allowing for live music shows and events to rival the spaces past revelry for the next 180 years?
On January 19, 2015, "Serenade," an original immersive musical experience, based on a poem by Edgar Allan Poe, opened in Carroll Place. The performers' dressing room revolves around the infamous bar and performances run throughout the legendary building, which is now the home of Edgar Allan Poe's poem Serenade.