The Pipes of History
The standout steakhouse Keens is decorated with tens of thousands of clay pipes harkening back to the smoky days of yore
They look like birds in flight. A giant flock, tens of thousands of them, thin and white, gliding across the ceiling at, of all places, a Midtown Manhattan restaurant. A closer look reveals that they are pipes—churchwarden pipes—with long, svelte stems leading to the bowls, reminders of the renowned 134-year history of Keens, the popular and highly rated steak- and chophouse on West 36th Street near Herald Square. There are 45,000 of them hanging on the ceiling and the walls, with an equal amount in the restaurant’s storage area.  These pipes were made for smoking, and that’s what Keens’ diners did for decades, its rooms filled with the fragrant aromas of its patrons’ …
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