History – KEN & COOK

Kenmare Street winds through Nolita like an old river and carries a long, rich, colorful history of downtown Manhattan.

The same Italian family owned 19 Kenmare Street for six generations. The address was famously home to Little Charlie’s Clam bar from 1926- 2007. Its solid brick walls carry many old secrets, as the restaurant was the favored venue for high level Commission meetings of the New York Italian Mafia.

Legend has it that Kenmare Street was named by politico-gangster “Big Tim” Sullivan at the turn of the century after the town in Ireland where his mother was born. “Big Tim”, born in the slums of the Five Points area, was a notorious New York City politician during the 1920’s. He was well known for having interests in everything from gambling and burlesque nightclubs to the support of women’s rights.

In the early 1920’s, the diverse, bohemian neighborhood of Nolita was home to eccentric artists, musicians and gypsies from Europe. A young and creative community still populates the area over a hundred years later, with proprietors of galleries, fashion houses and boutiques, which line the streets.

KEN & COOK respectfully eases into this historic space, lending it an alluring new life.