This week: lunch at Keen’s Chop House in Manhattan. Keen’s is the last remnant of the old New York theater district, which was located around Herald Square in the nineteenth century, before moving to Times Square in the twentieth. With the recent closure of Delmonico’s and 21, Keen’s is among the last remnants of Old New York altogether.
The ceilings are covered with clay pipes. Each belonged to a regular customer, and was kept on site, to be brought out after a meal.
The walls are covered with theatrical memorabilia: posters and programs dating back to the restaurant’s founding in 1885. The collection includes many delightful pieces, and one most terrible and awe-inspiring.
Upstairs in the Lincoln Room is the play bill that the President held in his hand at Ford’s Theater on the night he was assassinated. Stained with the great man’s blood, it is framed on the wall amidst portraits and a handwritten copy of the Gettysburg Address.