Sneak Peek: Boss Tweed

The owners of Monk McGinn’s, the two-level bar on Murray just east of Church, have just opened a more elevated restaurant called Boss Tweed down the street at 41 Murray, celebrating one of the most corrupt moments in New York City history (though I imagine there’s a lot of competition for that). Last night was a friends and family soft opening (thanks to P. for the photos) and they open officially tonight.

The space looks very pretty and lavish (Tweed style) with floral panels on the ceiling, pendant lights and lighted lockers for booze storage. The main restaurant has 75 seats plus 25 at the bar and an elevated section in the back. Looking forward to getting in there for drinks and dinner soon.

Damien O’Brien and Tadhg O’Callaghan opened Monk’s in 2018 in the old Cricketer Arms space; this is the former Rosa Mexicano. Both have party spaces, though you might recall that Rosa’s is in the basement. It has room for 75 people and they do not rent it out to promoters but rather use it for corporate events or private parties.

The draft of the menu (American cuisine) from back in July (I missed this CB1 meeting) showed lots of soups and salads and entrees like a half chicken, pan roasted salmon and a strip steak, with a good selection of bar food as well — sliders, paninis, etc.

Neighbors tuned in a bit at the meeting just to check in, but they all noted that Monk’s has been a good neighbor and they had few concerns about this one — in fact they wished them luck. Still, their initial hours were approved only till 1a on the weekends (Thursday to Saturday) by the committee. “I’d like to think we are at good standing in the community,” Damien said.

And for your reading pleasure, the Wikipedia entry for William Magear Tweed, along with a bit from US House of Representatives history pages:

At the height of his influence, Tweed was the third-largest landowner in New York City, a director of the Erie Railroad, a director of the Tenth National Bank, a director of the New-York Printing Company, the proprietor of the Metropolitan Hotel, a significant stockholder in iron mines and gas companies, a board member of the Harlem Gas Light Company, a board member of the Third Avenue Railway Company, a board member of the Brooklyn Bridge Company, and the president of the Guardian Savings Bank.

Tweed was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1852 and the New York County Board of Supervisors in 1858, the year that he became the head of the Tammany Hall political machine. He was also elected to the New York State Senate in 1867. However, Tweed’s greatest influence came from being an appointed member of a number of boards and commissions, his control over political patronage in New York City through Tammany, and his ability to ensure the loyalty of voters through jobs he could create and dispense on city-related projects.

In 1874, he was found guilty of embezzling millions (estimated by an aldermen’s committee in 1877 at between $25 million and $45 million) of dollars from state and city government contracts to line his pockets and those of his supporters. Sentenced to 12 years imprisonment, Tweed was incarcerated at the Blackwell Island prison. By prison standards, he maintained the lavish lifestyle to which he had become accustomed as the city’s most powerful political figure: resting on a spring board mattress and adorning his cell with a velvet sofa and library books. Tweed’s sentence was subsequently reduced. Freed after one year, he was immediately re-arrested to face civil charges. During this second incarceration at the Ludlow Jail—while on a supervised visit to the home of a family member—Tweed escaped. He fled to Cuba and then sailed to Spain, where authorities arrested him as he disembarked and returned him to New York City. Tweed spent his final years in the Ludlow Street Jail. Shortly before his death in 1878 he reportedly said, “My imprisonment will have a moral effect.”



  1. My favorite part of Boss Tweed’s story is that he was tried in an unfinished courtroom in the courthouse from which he embezzled.

    I’d still love someone to explain to me why it remained “Tweed” Courthouse even after everything. Any local historians on here who know?

  2. The owners are lovely, but they need to keep an eye on their staff who are not great based on my experience tonight. I will not got back b/c of them.

  3. Beautiful space. Great food and the owners really care about the neighborhood.

    Best of luck!