The Notorious Anvil Club New York City, a Meatpacking District Legend

     The Anvil bar/club opened in the fall of 1974 at 500 west on the southwest corner of tenth avenue in the 1908 Strand hotel a small three story building on a triangular plot of land near the west side elevated highway, the hotel started out as a longshoreman’s place to lodge it became a truck stop hotel in its later days of the sixties, seventies, and early eighties.

     The main floor of the club held the dance floor and bar, there was also a stage area that would feature drag acts featuring Candy Stevens and naked go-go boys dancing to the beats of the house D.J.’s:

  • Richard Rivera
  • Ronald “Nicky” Nicholson
  • Chico “Super” Starr
  • Larry Rossiello
  • Lance Wise
  • Michael Watson
  • Bobby “DJ” Guttandaro

     In the mid 1970’s Felipe Rose one of the go-go boys who danced on the bar in a American Indian costume was approached by the late Jacques Morali and Henri Belolo for a part in the new group they were forming. That group was The . The downstairs of the club was very seedy with dark caverns and passageways is where all the action happened. By the early 1980’s AIDS had reared its ugly face on the LGBT community,  many homosexual establishments were pressured from the city to close.

     Like the Mineshaft, Everard Baths and numerous gay places, the Anvil closed its doors in late 1986 at the height of the AIDS outbreak. The old Strand Hotel is now the Liberty Inn Motel and the Anvil is no more but a memory. R.I.P. Anvil 1974-1986.

One Response to “The Notorious Anvil Club New York City, a Meatpacking District Legend”

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  1. Vankid says:

    When I first arrived in NY in 1983 the Anvil was the first ‘after hours’ club I went to. My pals and I would meet at the Eagle and then walk down the dark and dreary West Side Hwy to the Anvil at 14th St and into a space that although it too was the dive of dives, it was also some of the best dancing and times that I can remember. Besides the go-go boys spinning their towels and fans on the bar, the shows were a riot with a classic stable of drag queens, each with their own adjectives such as: The legendary Yuba. the sensational Candy Stevens and the amazing Grace. I remember dancing to Jump by the Pointer Sisters the week it came out and often you would find yourself on the dance floor with celebrities who were laying low from the big dance clubs so as to have a good time and party away from the public glare.

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