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The magical Art Nouveau-styled poster at the entrance of ‘The Blind Pig’ speakeasy

The Blind Pig was a wizarding speakeasy and jazz club that operated during the 1920s in New York.[2][3][4][5] Located at 124 Macdougal Street, it's entrance was magically disguised by an enchanted advertisement.[1][6] Owned by a goblin gangster, Gnarlak.[2][3][4] The establishment was apparently frequented by prostitutes and criminals.[7][8]


Newt Scamander visited The Blind Pig while looking for information in 1926.[2]


Behind the scenes

  • "Blind pig" is an old American slang term for a speakeasy.[9] The term derives from a practise that certain speakeasy operators used to circumvent prohibition, whereby they would charge customers an admission fee to view a curiosity (typically an animal), then serve them a complementary alcoholic beverage.[10] This practise allowed them to serve alcohol while technically obeying the ban on its sale.[10]
  • Alcohol remained legal under the wizarding government of the United States during the period that the country's No-Maj government enforced prohibition in the 1920s and early 1930s.[11] This raises the question of how a wizarding pub like The Blind Pig could be considered a "speakeasy" when alcohol was legal. Critics of the MACUSA's policy on alcohol argued that its legality made wizards and witches stand out in crowded cities where the majority of the population were No-Majs living under prohibition.[11] Thus, it's possible that wizarding saloons could be considered "speakeasies" in the sense that they had to operate clandestinely, so as not to attract the attention of No-Maj authorities and reveal the existence of the wizarding world. It's also possible that some wizarding pubs were unlicensed because they were run and/or frequented by criminals. The Blind Pig, being run by a gangster and apparently frequented by prostitutes, would seem to fit this bill.
  • On a non-magical note: the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa has a place that, in student parlance, is called "The Blind Pig". This place is the Postgraduate (PG) Club; the nickname comes from the fact that "there is no "I" in Postgraduate!"


Notes and references

New York, NY, USA