Opened in 1950, Kettle of Fish is the quintessence of a Village neighborhood bar. The bar, originally located on MacDougal Street, was the place to be seen in the ’50s and early ’60s.
It was a second home to famous neighborhood denizens like Jack Kerouac and Bob Dylan.
In 1999, it moved to its current location on Christopher Street, where The Lion’s Head, another bar with literary and celebrity cachet, was.
Legends like Jimmy Breslin, Pete Hamill, Norman Mailer, and Frank McCourt frequented The Lion’s head. Other regulars included major political figures like Bobby Kennedy, Ed Kock, and John Lindsay. Jessica Lange waited tables before her King Kong days!
Hamill wrote about the bar in his memoir, A Drinking Life saying “I don’t think many New York bars ever had such a glorious mixture of newspapermen, painters, musicians, seamen, ex-communists, priests and nuns, athletes, stockbrokers, politicians and folksingers, bound together in the leveling democracy of drink.”
Today, the bar still has a warm, homey feel with dartboards, pinball, board games, Pacman,and an excellent jukebox. It is perfect for large groups looking for casual beers or cocktails and does a mean Bratwurst.
Oddly enough, Kettle of Fish is the home-away-from-home for Green Bay Packers fans with their cheesehead headgear and all.
Packers game watch parties take place every Sunday, and fans start lining up outside the bar at noon!
Carpe City Trivia
You can recreate the iconic picture of Kerouac chilling in front of the Kettle's neon bar sign
The sign is inside these days, but just as cool for posing.