REVISIT: A Bond tour of NYC

New York City’s 21 Club in better days (photo courtesy of Gary J. Firuta)

With the 60th anniversary of the film Bond (and the 69th anniversary of the literary 007), the blog was reminded a mini-tour New York City locations.

The blog’s host more than a decade ago was Bond fan Gary J. Firuta. He lived in the greater New York area at the time.

(Originally published 2009)

Sardi’s, 234 West 44th Street: In Chapter 8 of Diamonds Are Forever, Felix Leiter takes Bond to lunch at Sardi’s and they dine in the upstairs dining room. The friends have some martinis (with a domestic vermouth).

At the time of the visit, the upstairs dining room was closed but the Spy Commander had an unofficial tour guide. We were told the bar had been moved since the time Fleming described the Bond-Leiter meal. Also, black paint had been removed from windows overlooking 44th Street, so now the restaurant has a great view of nearby theaters.

21 Club, 21 West 52nd Street: In chapter 9 of Diamonds, Bond and Tiffany Case have dinner. Tiffany has three martinis before dinner and as the main course arrives, so does “one of the famous Kriendler brothers who have owned ’21’ since it was the best speak-easy in New York.”

The 21 Club is known for the jockey statues outside. If you go, prepare to spend money. A cocktail costs about $15. There’s a men’s room attendant who has been with 21 for decades, complimenting patrons (for example telling middle-aged men they should remember to bring their ID next time or they might get carded).

Years later, toward the end of the Live And Let Die film, Bond (Roger Moore) tells Felix Leiter (David Hedison to remember to meet up for dinner the following night at the 21 Club. As Bond gets on a train with Solitaire (Jane Seymour), Felix asks why Bond is traveling by train. “Say goodbye to Felix, darling,” Bond says.

Unfortunately, the 21 Club has closed, a victim of the COVID-19 pandemic.