Tenth of Always operated here from around 1968 to 1972 and was where artist Andy Warhol met Candy Darling, a trans woman who would become a Warhol Superstar.
Bonnie & Clyde, a lesbian bar popular with African-American women, became known in the 1970s as “a hangout for politically active lesbians as well as a place where women socialized across racial and class lines.”
Credit: Christopher D. Brazee/NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project, 2016.
Bonnie & Clyde, 1980s. Courtesy of the Lesbian Herstory Archives.
Tenth of Always, formerly Pompier Restaurant that catered to a “homosexual crowd,” was an upstairs, after-hours “juice bar” for teenagers with dancing that operated here around 1968 to 1972. Both businesses were Mafia-run and boys were allegedly recruited into prostitution here. This is where Andy Warhol met Candy Darling, a trans woman who was working as a dancing waitress and would later become famous for being a Warhol Superstar.
The space became Bonnie’s Restaurant c. 1972 to 1981, while the lower level became the lesbian bar Bonnie & Clyde, which included a disco and was especially popular with African-American women.
“[Bonnie and Clyde’s was] a hangout for politically active lesbians as well as a place where women socialized across racial and class lines. Often women would gather here after meetings at the Gay Activists Alliance Firehouse to continue discussions, arguments or strategy sessions begun earlier in the day.”
Lost Womyn’s Space blog, 2012
On that website, actor/writer/producer Peggy Shaw (of the Split Britches theater company and WOW Café Theater fame) reminisced about Bonnie & Clyde in an interview for the Documenting Lesbian Lives Oral History Project at Smith College: “I remember the first lesbian bar I ever went into…I had never seen women dancing together slow before…I had never really seen that kind of really beautiful intense drag of a butch woman and a femme woman. Beautiful. Scary. It scared me. Bonnie and Clyde’s…on 3rd Street in West Village, which was an incredible club.”
Architect or Builder: Unknown
Year Built: Pre-1851
Daniel Hurewitz, Stepping Out: Nine Walks Through New York City’s Gay and Lesbian Past (New York: Henry Holt & Co., 1997).
“Gambino Soldier Eddie DeCurtis Ran Gay Bars,” Friends of Ours (September 19, 2009), bit.ly/2fRhRWR.
Jay Shockley, “The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Community’s Presence in the South Village,” South Village Historic District Designation Report (New York: Landmarks Preservation Commission, 2013).
Lori Zimmer, “Tenth of Always with Andy Warhol and Candy Darling,” Art Nerd New York (December 15, 2014), bit.ly/2gLdaSh.
“Lost Womyn’s Space: Bonnie & Clyde’s,” Lost Womyn’s Space blog (January 3, 2012), bit.ly/2fDTpdS. [source of pull quote]
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