The Anvil bar/club opened in the fall of 1974 at 500 west fourteenth street 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 Village People. 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.