The New York Grimpendium: Jekyll and Hyde Club and Pub

My new book, The New York Grimpendium, comes out October 1 [UPDATE: Available now]. Like its predecessor The New England Grimpendium, it covers my experiences traveling to hundreds of death-related locations and artifacts in the region. Below is one of a series of photo essays from sites in the book that I’ll be posting over the next few weeks. If you live in or like New York, the book is for you. If you’re a bit morbid, the book is also for you, even if you’ve never been to the Empire State. After all, death is a punch line we all get.

September 19, 2012 — Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name. Other times, you want to go where animatronic zombies play David Bowie and monsters accost you at your table.

The Jekyll and Hyde Club and the Jekyll and Hyde Pub are horror-themed sister establishments in Manhattan, one in the Times Square area and the other in Greenwich Village. Since my visit and the subsequent publication of the book, the former one, which was located closer to Central Park, moved to its current Times Square address: 216 West 44th Street. So the below pictures from that one are out of date. The Greenwich Village pub hasn't changed. Still crazy after all these years.

The Times Square club is, naturally, the more extravagant of the two restaurants, with four floors of gothic and cheesy wackiness. The upper floors were basically large balconies that overlooked a central stage where monsters jammed, Jekyll transmographied into Hyde, and cannibals cooked unlucky explorers. Meanwhile, actors and servers in costume and character dropped by our table to add a spice of awkwardness to our dishes and random things on the wall sprang to life to have incongruous discussions with us.

The more humble, single-floor pub version in Greenwich Village is still open. I mean, I call it humble, but that's only in comparison to the over-the-top craziness of the mid-town location. It's still a place festooned with skeletons; mounted dinosaur and werewolf heads; animatronic mad scientists, monsters, and pharaohs; and bathrooms hidden behind bookcases...exactly how I want all my drinking experiences.

We'll start with my visit to the Central Park
venue (since moved to Times Square)
I didn't get a shot of its berzerk
facade because there was
scaffolding all over it at the time.
Manhattan's like that.

Obviously, we visited during the Christmas season.


On to the pub...

The bathroom was hard to find.

Read all about my visits to the Jekyll and Hyde Club and Pub in The New York Grimpendium, which is on sale now: