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Ravenite Social Club

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Ravenite Social Club was an Italian American heritage club and espresso bar in Little Italy, New York City, an area once known for its large population of Italian Americans, that was used as a criminal headquarters.[1]

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The club was founded in 1926 first as the Alto Knights Social Club (after an old street gang during Prohibition), it later became a hangout for Charlie Luciano and others. The Alto Knights name was derived from the Order of Saint James of Altopascio. In 1957 when Carlo Gambino took over, he renamed the club "The Ravenite" in honor of his favorite poem by Edgar Allan Poe "The Raven". But Gambino stopped habituating the club when he discovered police had a growing interest in survelliance of the club. It then became under the management of Aniello Dellacroce. It was frequented and used as the headquarters of the Gambino crime family in the late 1970s and 1980s.[2] Around 1990, the Federal Bureau of Investigation was able to infiltrate the Mafia using secret electronic surveillance, because John Gotti used an apartment above the Ravenite Social Club; the FBI subsequently sent agents to install voice recorders and other wiretaps inside the apartment. The FBI then used recordings from secret Mafia meetings in that apartment against Gotti. Exterior surveillance also recorded numerous union officials outside the Ravenite Social Club, helping the FBI in connecting the boss of the Gambino crime family to the city's labor unions.[3][4][5]

The club's former location, 247 Mulberry Street, later became a shoe store.[6]


  1. ^ "Little Italy | Italy". Archived from the original on January 7, 2012. Retrieved October 28, 2013.
  2. ^ Critchley, David (2008). The Origin of Organized Crime in America: The New York City Mafia, 1891–1931. London: Routledge. p. 156. ISBN 978-0-415-99030-1. Archived from the original on January 20, 2021. Retrieved December 16, 2020.
  3. ^ Lubasch, Arnold H. (June 24, 1992). "Gotti Sentenced to Life in Prison Without the Possibility of Parole". The New York Times. Archived from the original on October 18, 2013. Retrieved March 3, 2012.
  4. ^ Raab, Selwyn (November 12, 1991). "U.S. Says Top Gotti Aide Will Testify Against Boss". The New York Times. Archived from the original on January 23, 2011. Retrieved April 24, 2012.
  5. ^ "Federal Bureau of Investigation – Quick Facts". Federal Bureau of Investigation. Archived from the original on October 17, 2011.
  6. ^ Campbell, Jeff (2004). Lonely Planet USA. Lonely Planet. ISBN 9781741041927.
This page was last edited on 2 March 2021, at 17:27
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