Nearly 140-year-old famed literary haunt White Horse Tavern has a new owner. The historic West Village bar — known for being a hangout for people like Jack Kerouac, Jim Morrison, and Bob Dylan — will now be run by restaurateur Eytan Sugarman, the man most recently known for opening a middling Prince Street Pizza knockoff called Made In New York.
The restaurateur’s rep also confirms a rumor from Jeremiah’s Vanishing New York that the landlord on the space is the widely reviled Steve Croman, “the Bernie Madoff of landlords” who has served jail time and was forced to pay $8 million to former tenants in 2017 due to alleged harassment. Many restaurants had to deal with Croman, including Prune and Bruno. Public records do not yet show a new owner.
Sugarman might seem like an unlikely new owner for a bar that’s known for low-key, historic vibes from its origin as a bar for dock workers. He’s also an owner at the poorly reviewed Midtown steakhouse Hunt & Fish Club, a $5 million “obscenely opulent” restaurant that’s essentially catering to rich people; former Trump communications guy Anthony Scaramucchi is a co-owner. And he’s behind Southern Hospitality, a barbecue restaurant best known for once being associated with Justin Timberlake.
But Sugarman is insisting that he’s paying attention to the historic aspects of White Horse Tavern. Infrastructure will be updated, though other plans are still to-be-announced. He also did not comment on his landlord’s reputation, responding to an inquiry with “We are only focused on preserving the rich history and legacy of this iconic institution for New Yorkers.”
White Horse Tavern opened in 1880 and is the second oldest continuous running bar in the city. The pub, located at 567 Hudson St. at 11th Street, started as a place for men who worked at the piers along the Hudson river, but by the 1950s, it became better known for hosting writers and musicians, including Welsh poet Dylan Thomas. Eddie Brennan bought it in 1967, and it remains a destination in the city.