Inspiration & History
What is a Tertulia?
A tertulia was a type of Spanish literary salon popular in Spain from the 17th century, initially held in private homes and then in clubs and cafes during the early 19th century. Today, the word is used to describe a gathering of friends marked by great conversation, food and drink.
359 6th Avenue
Our building at 359 Sixth Avenue was the site of one of the very original Prohibition-era speakeasies. In 1922, Jack Kriendler and Charlie Berns opened The Red Head, which served liquor in tea and coffee cups for about a dollar an ounce. The Red Head moved to Washington Place and became the Fronton, a hangout for artists and literary types; after moving around a few more times, the speakeasy finally found a permanent home at 21 West 52nd Street and is still there today, more popularly known as The 21 Club.
If you look at the front of the building, you will see a windowless 5-foot high bricked-in part of the facade, between the top of the arches and the 2nd floor of the building – this secret, windowless half-floor was the location of the original Red Head, with the legitimate coffee shop on the ground floor.
Asturias is one of the 17 Autonomous Communities of Spain and forms part of what is commonly called “Green Spain.” It is a rugged, mountainous region with beautiful seascapes and tiny, charming mountain towns. It is Spain, undiscovered – a hidden gem. The food of Asturias is simple and focuses mainly on the impeccable products of the region. It is the undisputed capital of cheese in Spain, with over 40 recognized varieties and is equally as famous for its seafood, beans and beef. At Tertulia we use the rich spirit of Asturias and its wonderful sidrerías as a source of inspiration for both the design of the restaurant and the food we serve.