Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Kraine Gallery Bar - KGB

One of the most interesting literary hangouts in Slavic New York is certainly KGB bar, in the East Village.

The building has quite a checkered past. First, it was a Prohibition-era speakeasy called the Palm Casino. As of 1948, it was the Ukrainian Labor Home, a Socialist gathering place and headquarters of the Ukrainian Communist Party in the United States. Then, in 1984 the Kraine Gallery opened on the ground floor, followed by the Kraine Theatre. In 1992 the Red Room theatre opened on the third floor.

Last but not least, in 1993, the Kraine Gallery Bar - a.k.a. KGB - opened its doors on the second floor.

Today, KGB Bar is known best for its reading series, and spinoff anthologies. Sunday nights are devoted to fiction, Monday to poetry and other events are held throughout the week. The decor is also something of a sight - the bar is decked out in all sorts of communist kitch.

KGB Bar is located at 85 East 4th Street, just off of 2nd Avenue. Their calendar of events is here.

A number of anthologies have also been published, collecting works culled from KGB Bar readings:

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