The Baxter Street Dudes were a New York teenage street gang, mostly of former newsboys and bootblacks, who ran the Grand Duke's Theatre from their headquarters in the basement of a Baxter Street dive bar during the 1870s. They were known by trade as neighborhood thieves led by a tough known as Baby-Face Willie, however they also wrote and performed plays, musicals and variety shows which were enjoyed by other street toughs and slummers throughout the city. The theatre house eventually became a popular underworld hangout, from which the gang enjoyed financial success, however they soon came under attack from rival gangs from the Five Points and Mulberry Bend. The gangs began throwing rocks in order to disrupt the performances and violent fights would often break out. The club was eventually shut down by police both due to the frequent fighting as well as the gang's refusal to pay amusement taxes to the city.
The gang has been portrayed in a number of historical novels including Dreamland (2003) by Kevin Baker, The Five Points Concluded (2003) by Rocco Dormarunno, Sweet America: An Immigrants Story (2004) by Steven Knoll and Heyday: A Novel (2007) by Kurt Andersen.