Club Royale aka “Bucket of Blood”


511 1/2 7th Ave. S.

Run by a consortium of bootleggers who have never been reliably indentified, the Club Royale was officially known as the Hong Kong Society Club, though the operators were, in fact, white, not Asian. The club was situated in the basement of the Louisa Hotel and was elegantly decorated with Asian-style floral murals in the club proper and portrayals of fashionably dressed party-goers on the walls of the stairwell that led down to the club from Seventh Avenue South. (The murals still exist.) Despite its tony decor, the Club Royale was often referred to as “The Bucket of Blood,” a generic name for a rowdy establishment that goes back to frontier saloons.The Club Royale featured food, bootleg liquor and jazz, including performances by Gerald Wells and Joe Darensbourg. The club did not last long, being closed down by the Feds in 1931, but reopened in the ’30s as the Sky High.