When I photographed D’Ladiums / Pladiums for a 2010 story, two dozen or so readers shared their memories of the place. Is that ornate, black, boarded-up doorway on the right the entrance to the fabled basement? (If you were a fan of the place, make sure you follow that link.)
John Martin, Class of 1958, mentioned “I also heard there was a table stakes poker game in the basement on ocassion, but ‘I know nothing!‘”
Chris Stevens chimed in, “In the late 60′s Jerry let us use that underground (basement) space for a “Find of the Holidays” party one Christmas vacation. We served more than 3.2 and no one checked IDs that night.”
Tony Haman “will never forget the 1 and only time Big Dog took me downstairs to the ‘TABLE’ schooled me but taught me 3 quick games, what a privilege to have in my memories.”
I was an innocent
My folks didn’t put many restrictions on me. I mean, how could they? I spent my toddlerhood tooling my toy tractor around in my grandfather’s liquor store in Advance, and Mother delights in telling about how she outsmarted the sheriff who was coming to confiscate their slot machines when she was barely a teen.
Still, they cautioned me to stay out of pool halls and other dens of iniquity, so I’m not sure I ever went into the smoky palace of pleasure at 1127 Broadway. It must have been relatively civilized because I never had occasion to show up there for a shooting or stabbing.
I was told that Captain Beaver is one of the reasons for good behavior. He rules the joint with a firm, but gentle, touch from a barber chair like the one I have in my living room. (It must be more than the chair that produces the result, though.)