Crisco Disco was located at 408 West 15th. between 9th and 10th Avenue in the in New York City’s old “Meatpacking district”.
Opened in the late 1970’s. Crisco’s as it was called was an after-hours, milti-floor club in an old converted warehouse complete that was open from 9:00 pm at night well into late morning. The DJ booth was a huge Crisco can and it attracted a diverse group, from leather queens, to Twinks to the Studio 54 crowd.
Crisco’s didn’t have a liquor license (you had to buy tickets which you exchanged for drinks) or if you were in with the club owner you could BYOB.
Hank the owner had an incredible cocaine habit, he would invite, celebrities, fellow city gay bar and club employees, and all the attractive men he could into his VIP room where a huge pile of blow the size of a card table would be waiting The club’s VIP room was notorious for the free drugs — so famous in fact that Blondie’s song “Rapture,” with the line “Flash is fast, Flash is cool” refers to a “well known coke and heroin dealer who hung out in the club.
Crisco Disco closed in the early-mid 1980’s and the warehouse that housed it was unoccupied for over 30 years and home to old abandoned cars. until it was bought and turned an upscale restaurant during the Meatpacking districts “revitalization”
Unfortunately few pictures remain and not much has been written and documented about Crisco Disco despite its important place in New York City’s gay history.
If you have any memories, stories or photos of Crisco Disco please feel free to post them in the comment section below or email me at Will@Back2Stonewall.com