New York, NY
Doug Thompson (bartender): “It comes from three things. The first part is from the original owner, Marie Dumont. The “Crisis” comes from Thomas Paine’s The American Crisis, because he died on this spot. There’s a historical plaque outside and everything. And “Cafe” is what the place was when it opened in the ‘20s, before it became a piano bar in the ‘70s."
Taffer’s take: “It’s great, and I’ll tell you what’s great about it: everyone wants to be somewhere that’s relevant. And when you hear a story like that with a connection to society, you feel like you’re in a relevant place. And that matters.”
Don Kolp (general manager): “The bar opened in 1972, and the original owner, Arty Krause, was a gay thespian. In the ‘70s, I don’t think gay people were accepted anywhere, and Arty’s vision for the restaurant was not the norm, either. But the explanation for the name is on our menu: ‘The Brotherhood of Thieves, was taken from the title of an 1844 pamphlet written on Nantucket by Stephen S. Foster. The pamphlet vigorously attacked those who continued to support the institution of slavery, even as the tide of abolition rose. Diversity and strong opinion have always found a tolerant home on the island. During the Revolutionary War, Patriots, Tories, and Quaker pacifists coexisted here and pleaded, unsuccessfully, for neutrality. A unique spirit developed here, one based on uncompromising independence and strength of character. Today, on Nantucket, the idea of rugged individualism, personal liberty, and the fostering of eccentricity still exists and continues to thrive.’”