A simple neon sign marks the entrance to a bar with a very loaded name, however the KGB Bar has nothing to do with Russia’s notorious Secret Service. It’s a literary venue called Krane Gallery Bar better known by its initials KGB. Ukrainian-American Dennis Woychuk opened the space in 1993 and since then it has hosted a myriad of writers and book lovers. Woychuk’s father would come here in the 1940s when the building housed a social club for Ukrainian socialists and would take young Denis with him. I was five, you know, you’re a little child, you wouldn’t be looking at your daddy and I see these open and they’re knocking back drinks and I was thinking, that’s got to taste better than candy, look how happy they are.
Because the bar was built during Prohibition in the 1920s to sell illegal liquor, it never really had a name. When Woychuck came up with one local authorities, we’re not happy with his choice. I planned to go the Department of States for the name. They said you have to justify your name. You can’t call it KGB, CIA, FBI, GAY unless your name is Marvin Gay or some kind of justification. I said well I have this corporation, the Krane Gallery and that is one flight up, the Krane Gallery Bar; okay, you get the name.
因为这家酒吧建于20世纪20年代禁酒令期间，是为了销售非法酒，所以它从来没有真正的名字。当沃查克到当局起名字时，他的选择并不尽如人意。我打算到国务院去打听一下。他们说你必须有正当理由。你不能叫它特勤局，中央情报局，联邦调查局，同性恋（Gay）除非你姓盖伊（Gay）或者其他什么正当理由。我说，我有一家产业，就在Krane 画廊的楼上，所以我给他起名叫KGB (Krane 画廊酒吧)，然后他们就让我起了。
At the first locals were a little skeptical of a place named KGB but only for a short while. After all despite the name and the Soviet flags and posters that adorned the bars walls, political and religious discussions are not welcome here. The KGB Bar is for writers and book lovers. Well, I guess I owe you one, she said, playing it off. Today it is one of Manhattan’s most popular literary venues, a place where writers come to read their new works to eager listeners. Woychuck is a writer himself. His first published book Attorney For The Damned reflected his experience working as a lawyer representing the criminally insane.
And thought he enjoyed the job after a client attacked him, Woychuck decided it was time to change profession. Yet, he never gave up on writing. What I write about is love. My first children’s book published was about hippopotamus and a mouse that fall in love. A former attorney, son of a Ukrainian socialist, children’s book author and owner of a famous New York’s literary venue, some might say Woychuk himself resembles an unusual yet very likeable fictional character. For Iuliia Iarmolenko, New York, Anna Rice, VOA News.