|Knickerbocker Club on 5th Avenue|
Later he wrote: "When I find after a lapse of nearly forty years the haphazard production of my youth still cherished among New Yorkers- when I find its' very name become a ' household word' and used to give the home stamp to everything recommended for popular acceptance such as Knickerbocker societies, Knickerbocker insurance company, Knickerbocker steamboat ,(...) and when I find New Yorkers of Dutch descent priding themselves upon being 'genuine Knickerbocker ' - please myself with the persuasion that I have struck the right chord."If he write this comment twenty years later he could add a Knickerbocker Club to this list. This club is not the oldest club in New York- it just derived from the oldest one- TheUnion Club.
I published several posts about New York clubs - The Racquet and Tennis Club, private club with nude swimming tradition, the Colony Club-the only club, created only for women, Friars Club with their legendary “roasts” in which comedians pepper a celebrity with good-natured insults and other clubs.
In the summer of 1836, a number of leading New Yorkers, including ex-mayor Philip Hone, invited two hundred and fifty "gentlemen of social distinction" to join the new Union Club. As Hone noted in his diary, the club would "be similar in its plan and regulations to the great clubs of London, which give a tone and character to the society of the London metropolis." After offering admission to the initial cohort of 250, the club's membership would then be expanded to 400—large enough to accommodate enough socially distinct gentlemen while still remaining exclusive.
For a century no lady ever saw the inside of the club unless she were either a female employee or the wife of the club president. The wife of the club president was permitted to visit the club once, on some morning when the club was empty, for the sole purpose of seeing her husband’s portrait and where it was hung.From the beginning, the Union Club was known for its strongly conservative principles. In fact, even during the Civil War, the Union refused to expel its Confederate members. This policy, and a belief that The Union's admission standards had fallen, led some members of the Union to leave and form other private clubs.
One of such clubs was Knickerbocker Club. Knickerbocker Club was founded in 1871 by 18 former members of Union Club, who did not like Union club expansion of the membership. Among the Knickerbocker Club founders were such prestigious New Yorkers as Alexander Hamilton and John Jacob Astor. Club had an excellent restaurant. The typical dinner menu from 1887 included: East river oysters, Creme de petit pois aux croutons, Terrapins a la Knickerbocker, Saddle of mutton, String beans, potatoes hashed and fried, Canvasback ducks, Mousse café, Cheese, fruit, café, nuts.
Notable members of the club included Franklin Delano Roosevelt, August Belmont, Eleanor Roosevelt's father Elliott Roosevelt, John D. Rockefeller, David Rockefeller, and Henry White.The Knickerbockers Club is so exclusive that it only has one rule concerning giving out information about the club, and that is to never give any information out about the club ever.
The men-only club does not have website. Their single Yelp review did say: " Truly one of the finest private men's clubs in America. We had a lovely dinner with friends there-it is reciprocal with a club I belong to. Highly recommended, if you get an invitation."More than two hundred years after the debut of the book of Washington Irving , Knickerbocker's name has graced New York residents, beer brands, streets, neighborhoods. New York has a lot of places that have the name Knickerbocker. If you cannot be the member of a The Knickerbockers Club you can stay in the Knickerbocker Hotel and have a lunch at Knickerbocker Bar & Grill.