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Mr. Dry's Bar

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Mr. Dry's Bar was a speakeasy owned by Magnus Bane in the 1920s, so named because of the dryness Magnus sees in America. The bar was closed down in 1929, after Magnus decided not to reopen after a raid by a police force led by McMantry.[1]

Description

Located on West 25th St., in Manhattan, New York, technically being an illegal establishment during the Prohibition period, it was concealed behind the facade of a wig store. The wig store was a small joint with actual wigs on display and a hidden, reinforced door in the back wall of the shop that led to the bar. To enter, one had to say the password to the doorman, who viewed the guest through a small slit panel in the door.

The bar had a stage and dance floor that took up most of the floor space. There were ten tables and a marble bar, the latter imported from Paris. A mahogany shelf behind the bar held the bar's bottled collection of exotic drinks, served by a bartender named Max. A small private room behind the club, for Magnus' most private "business", was lined in large stained-glass panels and illuminated with electric lights that portrayed Dionysus, the Greek god of wine; Magnus kept the best and the worst of his stocks in the room's zinc bar.

Raid routine

Though they were raided on other occasions for inspection, they were targeted in particular with raids led by McMantry, a corrupt local cop whom Magnus refused to pay off. In preparation for the raids, Magnus had established a routine with his staff and customers—which his regulars had become familiar with—during which a bell would alert the whole club. Magnus would then perform magic amidst the unsuspecting mundanes: in the darkness, the bar would be transformed into varying facades, such as an apiary, a prayer circle, and a book club, and everything illegal was covered by accessories supporting the new cover of the bar. These tricks had confused the cops enough that the first few raids had been brief, nonviolent, and fruitless.

Closure

Late in September 1929, McMantry once again raided the bar. He and his crew came prepared with various tools to uncover the alcohol, and they planned to bring in everyone present. Not wanting his customers to go to jail, Magnus, also prepared for capture, revealed various escape routes hidden behind his walls that led to four different locations a couple of blocks from the bar. He then protected the hallways with protective magic, making the passages disappear before the officers could pursue his escaping customers.

Soon after Magnus left, after releasing the glamour over the club to reveal its true appearance, the police ransacked the place, spilling the drinks all over the bar and wig store, as well as destroying everything else.

Magnus intended to reopen the bar after a few days, to maintain a pretense of normalcy. However, when Magnus was finally bothered by the warnings given to him by Dolly and Aldous Nix, he lost interest in the bar and it was never reopened again, though the parties with his former customers, and new ones, continued in his suite at the Plaza Hotel.

References

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