Image by Geoffrey Dunbar

Flute Champagne Bar – Depression-era speakeasy

Beneath a 1904 apartment house, on the streets where Frank Loesser’s ‘Guys and Dolls’ played their games, is their refuge, now called Flute. In Damon Runyon’s short stories about the 1920s Broadway scene, a nightclub operator, “Miss Missouri Martin” was a character based on Texas Guinan, the real operator of this unchanged speakeasy. Flute is the real deal.

It serves me well as the rendezvous point for lovely Sasha, whom I take to watch Alvin Ailey’s Dance Company perform at City Center, just a block or so away. She and I sip Champagne Mojitos, arriving at the performance just in the nick of time.

Slink into the sidewalk stairwell of about a dozen iron steps, turn left into a low-ceilinged room, dimly lit, romantic, quite mysterious, let your eyes adjust then ask for an alcove, a lover’s alcove where you can drink their champagne potions and contemplate the magical positions that being in a lover’s alcove tends to generate. No one can see you!!

Flute has Champagne Happy Hours (Tuesday, until 8pm) during which all drinks, including champagne, are half price, and live jazz Wednesdays, 7-10pm.

Oh—on another historical note, Studio 54 was located across Broadway, one block away, on the other side of the street.

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Details about this spot



205 West 54th St, New York

Telephone number


Opening Times

Sun - Mon 16:00 - 01:00, Tue - Wed 16:00 - 02:00, Thu 16:00 - 03:00, Fri - Sat 16:00 - 04:00


Cocktails: US$ 12


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Last Changed Date: 2016-05-19 11:45:13 +0200 (Thu, 19 May 2016)