Tuesday, August 31, 2010

☞ REMEMBER: Jimmy's Chicken Shack circa 1940



When doing some research on 148th Street, we found an old photo from 1940 showing Jimmy's Chicken Shack which apparently was a famous eatery and jazz hangout in West Harlem. Besides a music group named after the lost Harlem establishment that shows up in searches, there wasn't a lot to go on except that it was Malcolm X's favorite restaurant. The middle photo shows St. Nicholas Avenue and the block south of 148th Street before the single level retail spaces found today were built on the eastside open lot. While searching on the westside, a telltale clue was left behind at 741-743 St. Nicholas Avenue. Above the greasy spoon Texas Star storefront, one can see the leftover sign bracket from the long gone Jimmy's (last photo). The first enlarged photo is a bit grainy but the number 743 (?) can barely be made out at the bottom of the sign. Anyone remember this place and when it closed? Archival photo courtesy NYPL.

3 comments:

  1. So it's actually 763 St. Nicholas Avenue just one block up north based on a reader's tip.

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  2. Jimmy's Chicken Shack was a famous Harlem eatery that witnessed the birth of bebop. It attracted a mostly white crown looking for an afterhours black party. Malcolm X, Redd Foxx, and Charlie Parker all worked there.

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  3. Jimmy's Chicken Shack was a famous harlem club in the 30's and 40's that witnessed the birth of bebop. It attracted a mostly white crowd seeking an afterhours black party. Malcolm X, Redd Foxx, and Charlie Parker all worked there before they became famous.

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