After the 18th Amendment took effect on midnight, Jan. 17, 1920, more than 150 speakeasies sprung up around town “to slake the thirst of those inclined to imbibe in the cup that cheers,” according to published newspaper accounts. In addition, more than 100 “bawdyhouses,” aka brothels, thrived in the alleyways behind the Bittenbender Building, just along Raymond Court and Center Street in downtown Scranton, Pennsylvania,
Despite fierce competition from an assemblage of madams, including Mae Davis, June Dareing and Bobbi Rhodes, Jenny Duffy’s place served as the ritziest, most glamorous locale. Powerful politicians and prominent judges. Celebrated jazz musicians and famous movie stars. Wealthy industrialists and prosperous bankers. They all congregated at Madame Jenny’s to swig bathtub gin with the city’s leggy and legendary working girls.
To access Madame Jenny’s today, you must enter through Ale Mary’s Pub, 126 Franklin Avenue, Scranton, PA, and find the hidden door (HINT: Your secret is “safe” with us) and then pass through a top-secret passageway. Or you can wander the alley behind the Scranton Times building off Spruce Street and look for the red light to be lit above an unidentified door.
If you can find your way here, we’re quite positive you’ll deem Madame Jenny’s the Bee’s Knees.
When you finally arrive inside the dazzling nightclub, prepare to immerse yourself in the nostalgia and authenticity of a bygone era. From the room’s plush art deco couches to its glittering chandeliers, Madame Jenny’s luxurious furnishings hail directly from New York City’s famed Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. To boot, the stylish space’s ambiance would render even Gatsby envious. Yes, Madame Jenny’s is that swanky.