Nightlife & Bars

Webster Hall: Allegedly Owned By Al Capone During The Prohibition Era

February 23, 2016 | BTSNYC
Nightlife Bars Webster Hall Entrance

Located in New York City’s cool East Village, Webster Hall was built in 1886 and has hosted performances and major events from across all spectrums of culture. It was allegedly owned by Al Capone during the Prohibition Era.

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Charles Goldstein, a Polish-born cigar maker, was the person that idealized the project of Webster Hall back in 1886. He hired Charles Rentz as the architect for this fantastic project that was about to be born.

In the beginning, Goldstein rented the space for live performances, shows, private celebrations. In the early 1900’s it was used for socially and politically inclined purposes related to the NY immigrants.

Around the 1920, extravagant and unconventional masquerade balls took place inside the hall. These parties gathered unpopular groups like gays and lesbians, giving strength to the beginning of the LGBT community in the United States.

And, during the U.S. Prohibition Era, it was one of the most coveted speakeasies in New York City. During this time, it was allegedly owned by the Al Capone. Pretty cool, right?

After the massive fire in 1949, in the early 1950’s the place was still going strong and focused in emerging Latin talents. The venue was bought by RCA Records and was transformed to what was called the Webster Hall Studios.

There, it hosted a recording studio that worked with the biggest names in the music industry like Elvis Presley, Julie Andrews, Bob Dylan, Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennet. Another big list of icons are known for recording their albums on the Grand Ballroom stage.

In mid 1980, it was renamed The Ritz and was one of the top rock’n’roll and punk club. There, guests were able to see live bands perform for the 1st time in North America. Who? Bands like U2, Depeche Mode and The Cure.

In 1992, when the club culture was at its heights peak, the Webster Hall was reborn.

Today, the Webster Hall is an architectural gem with 40,000 square foot. In 2008 it was considered by the Landmarks Preservation Commission a New York City landmark with an incredible history and tradition.

It has 3 amazing spaces where you can enjoy different performances. The Grand Ballroom has the capacity to host 1500 people, the Marlin Room, 600 and The Studio holds 400 guests.

The best parties? Well, the Halloween party and their New Year’s Eve party attract people from all over the globe!

So, take a look at their upcoming events.

There are other countless speakeasy spots in New York, so be sure to explore them. To visit other amazing spots in the East Village, you might want to start by these three.

Afraid to get lost? Don’t be! These are the situations you’ll have the opportunity of finding the most amazing places in town!

To organize your trip to New York, or a night with a corporate group, contact our experts to see what we can do and how we can be of service.

Hours: May vary, so check their website.

Location: 125 East 11th Street

Photo Credits: Courtesy of Webster Hall
*Last Update on March/2020.*

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