Harlem Ale House is operating in a CIRCA 1860’s Structure that has been in the front line of Harlem history. During the late 1890’s a top floor was added that housed a full bowling alley.
In the early 1920’s the building became Frank Schaefer’s speakeasy after his original “Saloon” was shut down at 341 Lenox Avenue (just around the corner).
In the late 1920’s it served as a “Number Hole” for Harlem Hoodlum’s Ulysses Rollins whose boss was the infamous gangster Dutch Schultz.
During the 1970’s it was the popular “101 Variety Store” AKA “The Candy Store” run by “Fats” a tough Harlem Underworld figure. According to old time Harlem lores a few a few people may have met their demise in the basement of the ill named “Candy Store”.
All the artifacts displayed on the walls of Harlem Ale House are original to the building and if there is a strong “Masonic” presence it’s because from the early 1920’s until 2010 the building housed many of Harlem Masonic Lodges. The picture hanging on the left side of the mural was taken by James Van der Zee in 1925. Many of Van der Zee’s famous Masonic Photography were taken on the 2nd floor.