BY GABE HERMAN | Has Anthony Scaramucci gone from the White House to the White Horse?
Lord no! Villagers are praying.
There has been some social-media chatter among locals that the famed White Horse Tavern will be coming under new ownership and may be in danger of closing.
On March 2, local resident Kat Georges wrote a Facebook post that started, “Save The White Horse Tavern!! Could be gone by end of month. New owners own The Hunt & Fish Club — including Anthony “The Mooch” Scaramucci. Call Corey Johnson … Email Corey Johnson… The White Horse is one of the last remaining iconic counterculture venues in Greenwich Village… We’re saving the buildings through creating historical districts but ignoring the business owners!!”
Scaramucci became famous — or infamous — for a brief run as Donald Trump’s White House communications director in 2017. And he is indeed a co-founder of the Hunt & Fish Club steakhouse at 125 W. 44th St.
The White Horse, at 567 Hudson St., at W. 11th St., dates back to 1880. In the early 1950s, it became known as a literary bar when poet Dylan Thomas and other writers frequented it.
On March 4, local Melodie Bryant tweeted, “#SaveTheWhiteHorseTavern New Yorkers! The White Horse is set to be gone by the end of March, under new ownership by consortium including ANDREW SCARAMUCCI. Let’s stop this!”
A White Horse bartender, Mackey, told this paper he has no knowledge of any change in ownership or a possible closing of the historic tavern. He said everything seems to be the same, including Eddie Brennan still being its co-owner.
This paper’s investigation thus far seems to trace all this back to an upcoming application for a new liquor-license application for the White Horse Tavern by Eytan Sugarman. The item appears on the Community Board 2 calendar for its March 14 Liquor Licensing Committee 2 meeting.
When a new owner or corporate entity takes over a business, a new liquor application must be filed, whether or not there will be any changes to the establishment.
In this case, the record shows the application by “Eytan Sugaman [typo] or LLC to be formed” and indicates there are no planned changes to the business.
Sugarman is a co-founder, along with Scaramucci, of the Hunt & Fish Club, and is the owner of Southern Hospitality BBQ. Sugarman did not immediately respond to requests to confirm if he would be the new owner of the White Horse, and if any changes to it are planned.
Greenwich Village filmmaker Karen Kramer was alarmed, to put it mildly, after seeing the Facebook posts about Scaramucci and the fate of the White Horse.
“I called the White Horse the day after the rumors started swirling,” she said. “I asked if Eddie [Brennan] was still there and the person who answered the phone, a female waitress, paused and said, ‘…Oh…yeah.’”
Kramer interviewed Brennan for an article in The Villager in 2005.
As for Scaramucci allegedly being one of the place’s new proprietors, Kramer said with distaste, “Dylan Thomas would be turning in his grave. You can’t make this stuff up.”
It was, of course, White House devotee Thomas, who, in his poem “Do not go gentle into that good night,” wrote, “Rage, rage against the dying of the light.” If Scaramucci really is involved with the White Horse, it’s an understatement to say locals will be enraged.
Kramer also interviewed the late writer Norman Mailer at the White Horse at one point since he had regularly held a Sunday writers’ salon there many years ago.
“The history, my God, the history,” Kramer reflected, reverently.
Legendary urban planner and Village savior Jane Jacobs also lived right next to the White Horse.
The filmmaker said she’s actually of a mind not to call the politicians — feeling that by the time they do get around to acting, it will be too late.
“We need to get 50 people out there in the street with megaphones,” she declared.
by Lincoln Anderson