Chumley's: A Speakeasy Can Be Destroyed But Not Defeated

Last November, The Observer‘s Chris Shott reported that one of Hemingway’s favorite Greenwich Village watering holes, Chumley’s, might re-open as early as spring, less than a year after a brick wall collapsed and forced the former speakeasy to close.

The maligned landlord of Chumley’s Margaret Streiker Porres was finally ordered to pay a $200,000 dollar fine last fall and the Buildings Department amped up the pressure to renovate the crumbling, Prohibition-era landmark. But some foodies in the blogosphere were dubious about proprietor Steve Shlopack’s optimistic projected re-opening dates, including March and April.

Last week Mr. Shlopak told the Lost City blog that construction would resume on Monday. Skeptics over at Eater sent a correspondent to check out whether the news was too good to be true, and, lo and behold, crews were banging away this morning. Now that reconstruction has begun, barring unexpected delays, patrons can look foward to the hallowed haunt’s relaunch in late May or June. No word on the fate of Chumley’s once its 99-year lease expires at the end of 2008.

Commenters on Eater were quick to dismiss the news. One claimed that a new bar/lounge will open instead. Chumley's: A Speakeasy Can Be Destroyed But Not Defeated