Hole-in-the-Wall (saloon)

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Address On the corner of Water and Dover Street
Location Manhattan, New York, United States
Owner Charley Monell
Type Dive bar
Opened 1850s
Closed c. 1855

The Hole-in-the-Wall was a popular saloon and underworld hangout in what is now Financial District, Manhattan, New York City during the early- to mid-19th century. It has been described as the "most notorious" saloon in New York city during the 19th century.[1] It was one of many dive bars and similar establishments in New York's infamous Fourth Ward, located at the corner of Water and Dover Streets. The saloon was owned by "One Armed" Charley Monell and featured notorious female criminals Kate Flannery and Gallus Mag as bouncers.[2] Both women were employed by Monell as lieutenants in his local criminal organization, which included shanghaiing,[3] and the latter woman supposedly kept a collection of human ears which she had bitten off from unruly customers in bar brawls. She displayed these as trophies on the bar in pickle jars. Sadie the Goat, the later leader of the Charlton Street Gang, was of the many victims who lost her ear in a brawl with Gallus Mag.[4][5][6][7][8]

The bar was widely known as "the most vicious resort in the city", with seven murders having occurred in a two-month period, and it was at the saloon in 1855 that a bar room brawl between waterfront thugs Slobbery Jim and Patsy the Barber, both members of the Daybreak Boys, resulted in Patsy's death. Slobbery Jim was forced to flee the city soon after.[7] The Hole-in-the-Wall was finally closed down by Captain Thomas Woolsey Thorne.[4] According to Richard McDermott, founder of the quarterly New York Chronicle, the Hole-in-the-Wall may have occupied the present-day site of one of New York's oldest surviving saloons, the Bridge Cafe.[9]


  1. ^ Prassel, Frank Richard (1996). The Great American Outlaw: A Legacy of Fact and Fiction. University of Oklahoma Press. p. 43. ISBN 978-0-8061-2842-9. 
  2. ^ Sante, Luc. "These Are The Good Old Days (Saloon Life)". New York Magazine. 24.31 (14 Aug. 1991): 28+
  3. ^ Hugill, Stan. Sailortown. London: Routledge & Regan Paul, 1967. (pg. 161)
  4. ^ a b Asbury, Herbert. The Gangs of New York: An Informal History of the New York Underworld. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1928. (pg. 46-48, 58, 298) ISBN 1-56025-275-8
  5. ^ Whipple, A.B.C.. The Challenge. W. Morrow, 1987. (pg. 136) ISBN 0-688-07112-0
  6. ^ Kenney, Dennis Jay and James O. Finckenauer. Organized Crime in America. Belmont, California: Wadsworth Publishing Company, 1995. (pg. 72-73) ISBN 0-534-24702-4
  7. ^ a b Batterberry, Michael. On the Town in New York: The Landmark History of Eating, Drinking, and Entertainments from the American Revolution to the Food Revolution. New York: Routledge, 1998. (pg. 105-106) ISBN 0-415-92020-5
  8. ^ Sante, Luc. Low Life: Lures and Snares of Old New York. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2003. (pg. 107-108, 205) ISBN 0-374-52899-3
  9. ^ Gray, Christopher (1995-11-19). "Streetscapes: The Bridge Cafe;On the Trail of New York's Oldest Surviving Bar". New York Times. Retrieved 8 September 2009. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Bonner, Arthur. Jerry McAuley and His Mission. Neptune, New Jersey: Loizeaux Bros., 1967.
  • Murtagh, John M. and Sara Harris. Cast The First Stone. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1957.

Coordinates: 40°42′29″N 74°00′00″W / 40.708°N 74.000°W / 40.708; -74.000