Kenny's Castaways located at 157 Bleecker Street has seen it's share of history. The building, No.157 has been a part of New York history since the 1820's. James McCabe, author of Lights And Shadows Of New York Life , noted as early as 1872 that Bleecker Street was the headquarters of Bohemianism and the New York paper The Press in 1890 noted The Slide, located in the basement of no. 157 Bleecker Street was the wickedest place in New York.   More or less untouched since the 1820's, The Slide remains in existence today as Kenny's Castaways. Much of the interior is still recognizable from the 1891 drawing and description in The Herald newspaper which states "a high barroom in the front with a stamped tin ceiling and a dance floor and orchestra at the back, flanked by two staircases to the right and left that lead up to a gallery." The ceiling, woodwork, and ceramic tile floor are all 19th century. During a recent renovation of the basement, small rooms with old plasterwork, doors, and plank boards were discovered. The boards had writing and drawings on them depicting small women, large women, arrows, sheets, and prices. They were evidence of it's former self as a brothel and these boards are on display at Kenny's.

Kenny's Castaways was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame as a Great Blues Venue on December 4, 2011.

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© December 2011
Photos: Susan O'Kane