The Greenwich Village Literary Pubcrawl


7. The White Horse and Dylan Thomas

Although the White Horse has been around for a long time and has had a reputation for many writers, the Welsh poet Dylan Thomas is perhaps the man most associated with the tavern. That’s because Thomas reportedly drank himself “to death” in the bar. Rumor has it that after 18 whiskeys, Thomas stumbled back to his hotel room and passed out. Accounts vary on whether or not Thomas simply never woke up again or went back to the bar upon rising, but the fact of the matter is that he died soon after his bender, in the nearby St. Vincent’s hospital, allegedly of an “insult to the brain.” The White Horse still pays tribute to Thomas, whose most famous poem is “Do not go gentle into that good night.” Some say Thomas’ ghost still inhabits the tavern.

6. Kettle of Fish

We took a bit of a winding path to arrive at our next pub. That was fine, since the path was sprinkled with literary landmarks and tales of the kind of Bohemian debauchery that can only happen in a place like the Village. Arriving at Kettle of Fish, we knew there were some more stories to be told. This bar has its own winding history—one that starts on McDougall Street and hops around to two or three other locations, before finally landing in the former home of another bar, the Lion’s Head. Lion’s Head, owned by a former NYPD officer, became a literary hangout in its own right, even though Kettle of Fish had been doing the same thing years before. When Lion’s Head closed down in the late 1990s, it was only right that another hub for writers took its place on the Greenwich bar scene.

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