Oh yeah! If this isn’t one of the coolest places that anyone ever partied in, then I don’t know what is! When I came across these photos I was immediately compelled to find out more about it.
Turns out that back in the 1920s there was speakeasy in Washington D.C. that served its bootleg cocktails in a treehouse. It was named the “Krazy Kat Klub” after the character in a popular comic strip created by George Herriman.
The club was run by Cleon “Throck” Throckmorton , an artist who later became a stage set designer. It was a hipster haven for the counterculture, the avant garde, the artsy set.
This excerpt from a 1922 article in the Washington Times on Throckmorton and his “Krazy Kat Klub” was written by Victor Flambeau. He describes the club as “a most spooky sort of place, weird and crazy as its name.” A place for “Good friends, a blazing fire, some primitive furniture, hand made no doubt, candles, drinks, eats, a floor to dance upon, a garden annex in summertime, a spreading tree with airy rookeries built in it’s branches.”
I don’t know about you, but it sounds like a really fun place to me!
Below is the entrance to the club, which was actually in an old stable. Cleon, aka “Throck” is on the right.
And you know those unruly bohemians! Because it operated during Prohibition it was raided many times.
Below is an account from the Washington Post on a raid in 1919.
Officer Roberts was under orders to watch the ” rendevous of the Bohemians.” (great name for a band!) when he heard a shot fired. A raid ensued and 14 people landed in the slammer, mostly for drunk and disorderly conduct.
The article likens the Krazy Kat Klub to a Greenwich Village coffee house, with gaudy pictures created by futurists and impressionists. And the people arrested were “self styled artists, poets and actors and” GET THIS, “some who worked for the government by day and masqueraded as Bohemians by night.”
The horror! Can you imagine? Government workers leading double lives! Who would have thought?
I don’t know who that hot tomato is on the left, but I adore her 20s boho look. The photo was taken in 1921 and she’s wearing black rolled down stockings, a scarf wrapped around her head gypsy style and a skirt that is showing her knees. Downright scandalous!
And check out this old rickety ladder they had to navigate in order to knock back a few. They sure had to go way out on a limb to get tipsy in the treetops! Imagine what it was like to have to climb down after one too many? I can imagine more than one patron ended up on their behinds!
Mr. Throckmorton at the easel, 1920s hipsters smoking and posing in the yard.
More history about the Krazy Kat Klub can be found here.
Source of Images- Library of Congress.
After seeing these photos I so want one of these in my back yard. Note to self, must add speakeasy treehouse to DH’s “Honey Do” list.
So, what about you? If you could time travel back to the 1920s, would you want to hang out in a place like this?