A look at the history of the two bars that serve as primary locations in the 1960 showbiz noir SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS.


Much of the film’s action takes place in two locations. One, like many iconic spots of the city’s middle of the century, is now a Duane Reade. The other soldiers on, one of the last of these places still standing in a city that always moves forward. Sidney Falco throws himself into the sweaty, drunken crowd of the rowdy night spot Toots Shor’s while JJ, impeccably dressed, holds court like a king with contempt for his subjects in the estimable 21 Club.

Keith Allison is the chief bacchanologist at MEZZANOTTE.

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