Sunday, March 18, 2012

86’ed


Most of you are probably familiar with this term.  Simply stated in the biz refers to a patron who is no longer welcome in an establishment or a term used as a way to communicate that an item is out of stock or sold out. 

Once again many historical suggestions for how this term came about.  This version brings a smile to my face…

Let’s go to NYC circa early 1900’s where there was a famous speakeasy called Chumley’s, located at 86 Bedford Street. During Prohibition, an entrance through an interior adjoining courtyard was used, as it provided privacy and discretion for customers. As was a New York tradition, the cops were on the payroll of the bar and would give a ring to the bar that they were coming for a raid. The bartender would then give the command "86 everybody!” which meant that everyone should hightail it out the 86 Bedford entrance because the cops were coming in through the courtyard door.

2 comments:

  1. We used to go to Chumleys when we lived in NY. It was, and probably still is, one of those places that doesn't have a sign. Now I know why!

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  2. Wow, I'm so envious you've been there!

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