- Location: 21 W 52nd St.
The 21 Club opened in 1930 as a speakeasy during Prohibition. Located around the corner from Rockefeller Center and Radio City Music Hall, the restaurant has long been a symbol of old New York glamour and upper-class exclusivity, both in real life and on screen.
In Oliver Stone’s 1987 film “Wall Street,” the low-lit dining room serves as the backdrop for an illicit meeting between Wall Street bigshot Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas) and aspiring stockbroker Bud Fox (Charlie Sheen). Gekko chides Fox for not wearing a nice enough suit, telling him, “You can’t come in here looking like this”—a reference to the 21 Club’s strict dress code, which required jackets and ties. Famously, Gekko orders the “off-the-menu” steak tartare topped with a raw quail egg, just before slipping Fox a check for $1 million.
The exclusive restaurant was also featured in the 1993 Woody Allen film “Manhattan Murder Mystery,” when Larry (Allen) and Carol (Diane Keaton) visit the 21 Club with their son on his birthday. The establishing shot of the Club features its famous outdoor wrought-iron railing, which is studded with colorfully dressed jockey figurines. In the lounge, they run into Marcia (Anjelica Huston), who stands in front of a large horse statue. The 21 Club, which officially closed in 2021, can also be spotted in “All About Eve” and “Sex and the City,” and while it doesn’t physically appear in Alfred Hitchcock’s “Rear Window,” Grace Kelly orders up a romantic dinner from the famed restaurant for her inamorata, played by Jimmy Stewart.
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