Algonquin Hotel - The Alqonquin Round Table

The Alqonquin Round Table

In June 1919 the hotel became the site of the daily meetings of the Algonquin Round Table, a group of journalists, authors, publicists and actors who gathered to exchange bon mots over lunch in the main dining room. The group met almost daily for the better part of ten years. Some of the core members of the "Vicious Circle" included Franklin P. Adams, Robert Benchley, Heywood Broun, Marc Connelly, Jane Grant, Ruth Hale, George S. Kaufman, Neysa McMein, Dorothy Parker, Harold Ross, Robert E. Sherwood and Alexander Woollcott.

The Algonquin Round Table – a group of notorious literary figures (mostly critics) who made The Algonquin their daily meeting place – set forth to implement significant literary styles in the early 1900s.

At the end of World War I, Vanity Fair writers and Algonquin regulars Dorothy Parker, Robert Benchley, and Robert E. Sherwood started meeting for lunch at The Algonquin. Alexander Woollcott, acerbic critic and war correspondent, received a warm welcome from literary friends in 1919. They gathered in the Rose Room that afternoon; one person enjoyed the event enough to request that it become a daily event. That same request prompted a daily exchange of ideas and opinions shared between highly esteemed literary figures. George S. Kaufman, Heywood Broun, and Edna Ferber were also a part of this August assembly; these individuals influenced writers like F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway. They founded The New Yorker magazine – all hotel guests receive free copies to this day.

Frank Case, owner of the hotel, ensured a daily luncheon for the talented group of young writers by treating them to free celery and popovers; more importantly, they were provided their own table and waiter. Edna Ferber, Franklin P. Adams, George S. Kaufman, Heywood Broun, and Marc Connelly eventually joined the group, expanding its membership. All members were affiliated with The Algonquin Round Table, although they referred to themselves as the Vicious Circle.

Presently, The Round Table restaurant is one of the most favored dining spots in New York City. Visitors often request to dine at the actual “round table” where members originally met for decades. Artistic and creative minds alike still meet to this day to discuss thoughts and ideas just as the Vicious Circle once did.

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