Warhol and Chipotle
Even in the late 1990s, St. Marks Place still had a sort of bohemian spirit, that is until Super Cuts moved in. The transformation of the buildings at 19-25 into chains like Chipotle felt like the final nail in the post-punk St. Marks Coffin, diffusing the once-cool block into the tackiness it is today. But long before fast food moved in, Andy Warhol used to host parties here in 1966- called “Exploding Plastic Inevitable.” The ground floor, called The Dom, was the regular venue for house band the Velvet Underground, featuring weekly performer Nico.
The Factory crowd hung here throughout 1966 in the club converted from a former ballroom upstairs, sublet by Warhol and Paul Morrissey and called The Dom for the name of “home” in Polish. After the Warhol crowd moved on, the club was reopened in 1967 as the Electric Circus, a total psychedelia-themed nightclub. Electric Circus was open literally until someone dropped a bomb- right on the dance floor, rumored to have been set by the Black Panthers. People didn’t really want to go there anymore, and it closed in 1971. The building was divided up and turned into the crappy place it is now in 2003.
But even before Warhol, the site was a place of excitement and controversy. Once townhouses for the rich, #19-25 were bought up in the 1870s by the German Music Club, The Arlon, and turned into the German dance venue Arlington Hall, where in 1914 there was another shoot out on the dancefloor between Italian and Jewish gangsters.
Teddy Roosevelt and William Randolph Hearst also spoke there. Now, enjoy that processed burrito and think about what I’ve just told you.
What: The Dom/ Warhol Club
Where: 19-25 St. Marks Place
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