Literary Landmark KGB Bar NYC Aid

Literary Landmark KGB Bar NYC Aid

From Lori Schwarz

KGB Bar, an institution in the literary community for 26 years, where writers and creators including David Foster Wallace, Jonathan Franzen, Joyce Carol Oates & Anthony Bourdain have communed and shared their work.

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We've come up with a few ways to raise money and provide some funds for employees, by selling drink tickets to be used when we reopen, taking deposits for upcoming events, and selling ad space and/or sponsorships on our online lit mag, websites, and social media posts, as well as accepting donations.  We're also attempting to start live streaming whatever is possible readings, music performances etc...and will be posting those events on our websites.  30% of funds received will be distributed to our employees, and it’s possible to designate to which bartender(s) it should be given.  

 A little history on the building that was erected in Manhattan’s East Village in 1838 at 85 East 4th Street. It has a storied past of being the headquarters of Emma Goldman’s Secret Society of Anarchists, as well as the home of Lucky Luciano’s Palm Casino Speakeasy.  When owner Denis Woychuk was a boy, his father, a Ukranian immigrant who came to the US shoeless during the Great Depression, was blacklisted as a communist and unable to find work but found solace at the Ukranian Labor Home, now KGB Bar. 

Woychuk wanted to create a place for lonely writers to gather, have a drink and share their work. He was able to become a lawyer by working 3 jobs and going to school, then did work for the labor home to eventually purchase the building.  KGB Bar has been  hosting writers for 26 years, including legends George Plimpton, David Foster Wallace, Elizabeth Gilbert, Jonathan Franzen, Joyce Carol Oates and Anthony Bourdain.  It would be a shame for this literary landmark to not be available for future generations of writers.

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