Founder Denis Woychuk came to the Ukranian Labor Home, now KGB Bar at 85 East 4th Street as a young boy with his father, a Ukrainian immigrant who couldn’t get work because he was blacklisted as a communist. Denis was able to get public assistance and attend college and law school. He did work for the Ukrainian Labor home with an option to buy the building. In 1983 his first business venture in 85 East 4th Street was the Kraine Art Gallery during the day and at night the Kraine Theater which is now solely the Kraine Theater. Kraine Gallery Bar (KGB) was opened 10 years later and quickly became a literary landmark. KGB Bar was once the Palm Casino Speakeasy, owned by Lucky Luciano. The Red Room, on the 3rd floor of 85 East 4th Street was the headquarters of Emma Goldman’s Secret Society of Anarchists that eventually was remodeled as a black box theater and in 2013 was redesigned as a Deco speakeasy performance venue.
The Red Room:
Legendary East Village KGB Bar has a newly created sexy and intimate space to entertain its overflowing crowd. Proprietor Denis Woychuk is giving his prohibition era building its due, premiering a speakeasy style club on the 3rd FL at 85 E.4th Street. The limited occupancy Red Room features gangster inspired libations with names like Wisebuy and Cocksman and antiques from the period, including a copper bathtub as well as Woychuk’s art and object collections. The discriminative spot promotes the feel of days gone by when infamous gangster Lucky Luciano’s Palm Casino inhabited the building.
Open Arts LES 2020 Interview
I think the creative spirit is the thing that keeps us most alive. You know, you can have a boring job, but if you have an active creative life, you’re taking a bite out of life. You’re not dying inside. You’re living. – Denis Woychuk
KGB Bar and Red Room offers performance opportunities, opens mics, and literary readings.
For more information on how to get involved, visit their website.