KGB in the News

NY Times
From left, Matt Rogers and Bowen Yang will host “Las Culturistas Live: I Don’t Think So, Honey!” | Photo: Mindy Tucker

Our guide to stand-up, improv and variety shows happening this weekend and in the week ahead.

‘THE BREAKDOWN WITH BORIS KHAYKIN’ at the Red Room at KGB Bar (April 24, 7 p.m.). Every fourth Wednesday of the month, upstairs at this East Village bar, Khaykin hosts a talk show with a twist in which guest improvisers perform scenes based on the interviews he conducts alongside his sidekick, “Uncle” Jawnee Conroy. This month, they welcome the comedian Ted Alexandro and the writer Eric Levitz from New York magazine’s Intelligencer, while Rebecca Vigil, Katie Hartman and Emma Vernon provide the play-by-play and color commentary through improv. Katie Hannigan performs a stand-up set, and the beat boxer Exacto serves as the house band. ›› read more

NY Post
KGB Bar’s tin ceilings date back to the 1880s, per manager Lori Schwarz

Looking for something with a little more kick? Try KGB Bar at 85 E. Fourth St. The building dates from 1838 and was renovated in the 1880s, which is when general manager Lori Schwarz believes that the tin ceilings were added.

Today, each ceiling is painted, says Schwarz, including in the Red Room, a “speakeasy complete with a copper bathtub but was the headquarters of Emma Goldman’s Secret Society of anarchists in 1914.”

Turns out the truth about tin ceilings is that New Yorkers of all stripes — from poets to shopkeepers to radical activists — really do exist under one roof. ›› read more

The Inquisitive Eater
The Inquisitive Eater

85 E 4th Street houses the Kraine Theater, the famous KGB Bar, and, its latest edition, the Red Room. Though there is much discussion about its individual parts, the building as a whole has a long and rich history, much of which is evident. The owner, Denis Woychuk, is one of the wittiest, warmest people I’ve ever met, and is quick to open up.

As we sit and chat in the Red Room, he’s quick to relate everything that’s happened in 85 East 4th: “In 1838 this building was built. Think about this. The Civil War is almost 30 years in the future. Lincoln’s wearing short pants and studying his grammar, he’s… I really don’t know what Lincoln was doing.”

Almost since the start, the building was used for political purposes. “In 1878, this building was the first headquarters for the Women’s Aid Society in America,” Denis says. Concerns for worker’s rights, particularly immigrant worker’s rights rose at the beginning of the 20th Century, and by 1911, the same year as the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire, the building was occupied... ›› read more

AM New York

The establishment is mantaining a longstanding neighborhood tradition as a home for writers and their work.

A faint red hue illuminates the door frame of one of the East Village’s last literary hangouts, the KGB Bar on East Fourth Street. Perhaps it’s fitting that this neon glow almost seems like a secret invitation to enter the space, located in a building that owner Denis Woychuk calls “Culture House,” a space retaining its identity as a literary bar when many other cultural institutions in the neighborhood have come and gone. “We do a lot of culture here,” Woychuk says. ›› read more