Slideshow: Chinatown Underground


Austrian nightclub impresario Albert Trummer’s recent addition to the neighborhood: an apothecary-themed lounge, where bartenders mix absinthe with herbal infusions and concoct “euphoric enhancers” instead of cocktails.

Home to Anthony H. Doyers—thought to be the street’s namesake—as well as to the legendary $35 million he was said to have buried in the walls. In 1923, a group of Belgian fisherman made the last in a long line of claims to rightful heirship, though no sum was ever recovered.
The former Chinese Opera House, frequented by members of the On Leong Tong. In 1905, members of the rival Hip Sing Tong quietly lined the theater’s back rows and started firing halfway through the show. Members of both tongs reportedly dragged their dead through the theater’s underground tunnels before the police arrived.

JB Reed.

Nom Wah Tea Parlor

Known for its squeaky fiddling and uneven dance floor, the former Mandarin Café played host to politicians and underworld figures alike. A frequent guest was "Big" Jack Zelig. Today's Nom Wah Tea Parlor introduced dim sum to New York in 1920.

The haunt of local “tour guide” Chuck Connors, known, variously, as the Sage of Doyers Street, the Bowery Philosopher, the Mayor of Chinatown and the Insect. A darling of the press, racketeers and Tammany Hall, he was often credited with originating the “dese, dem and dose” linguistic tradition.

JB Reed.

The saloon of ex–river pirate and garroter Scotchy Lavelle. A young Irving Berlin, employed as a singing waiter on neighboring Pell Street, occasionally dropped by.

Ting’s Gift Shop

The former gambling house and opium den turned its sights to a more benign inventory in 1957—tiny Buddhas, paper lanterns, and assorted kitsch. A year later, a federal raid uncovered $1.5 million worth of heroin.


JB Reed.

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