An exclusive restaurant and nightclub in New York City, known also as the '21' Club but usually simply as '21'. It is named after its address: 21 West 52nd Street. Now owned by Orient-Express Hotels, who purchased the property in 1995. Was started as a speakeasy during Prohibition, but gained more widespread recognition after Prohibition was repealed in 1933. Every U.S. President since Franklin Delano Roosevelt has dined there, as have celebrities far, far too numerous to list here. The waiting list for common folks is often oppressively long.
What makes '21' remarkable is that in its speakeasy days, co-founders (and cousins) Jack Kriendler and Charlie Berns were able to elude capture for years by federal investigators. At the first sign of a raid, they activated an intricate system of pulleys and levers which would immediately dispose of all liquor bottles on the shelves. Also, the wine cellar was located next door, at 19 West 52nd Street.
On the web: http://www.21club.com
Also the legal drinking age in all states of the United States of America, the maximum possible score of a hand in blackjack, and a game show (see Twenty-One).