The Triangle Social Club
Mob Hangout in Manhattan, New York
This is the former Triangle Social Club (Triangle Civic Improvement Association).
It is located at 208 Sullivan Street in Manhattan, New York.
In the past, this club was the main hangout spot for the Greenwich Village Crew, which was a part of the Genovese crime family.
The crew, which was formed by mob boss Vito Genovese, was named as such because it mostly operated in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of Manhattan.
This cafe on Sullivan Street served as the headquarters for Genovese capo Vincent "The Chin" Gigante (pictured above).
Gigante was appointed as the new caporegime of the crew during the 1960s.
In 1981, longtime Genovese boss Philip Lombardo decided to retire due to health issues. However, before he stepped down, he named Gigante as his successor.
When Gigante took over the top spot, he continued using the Triangle Social Club as his main base of operations. On most days, "The Chin" and his crew would sit at the cafe and play cards together.
By the end of the 1980s, the Triangle Civic Improvement Association, like most of its patrons, looked old and weathered. The front windows had been crudely painted white to conceal the interior. On the outside, there were mismatched chairs and rickety tables.
Most passersby had no idea that the shabby cafe was the front of a criminal organization that was grossing $100 million per year.
Although Gigante had a house in the suburbs, he preferred the area around Sullivan Street and often slept in his mother's apartment near the cafe.
His sister also owned a pet supply store on the street. However, the items on display sat unchanged for years, which led many locals to believe that the store's sole purpose was to serve as a lookout point for law enforcement.
One anecdotal tale from an old newspaper column in the Daily Telegraph recalled how an "outsider" attempted to extort money from businesses in the area. When the elderly men at the Triangle Social Club took this man aside and advised him to leave the neighborhood, he refused to listen to them.
The man in question was found dead after he failed to heed their second warning.
Gigante was nicknamed "The Oddfather" due to his habit of faking mental illnesses—a strategy that had helped him avoid prison in the past.
In the 1980s and 1990s, he would aimlessly wander through this neighborhood in his pajamas and bathrobe with a dazed look on his face. During these trips, he often stared off into the distance and muttered to himself.
Significantly, his bodyguard was never far behind—a sign that these psychotic "episodes" weren't genuine.
Nevertheless, Gigante's charade worked to a degree, as it caused a seven-year delay in a federal racketeering case against him.
However, in 2003, he was forced to admit it had all been an act. At the time, he was facing racketeering and obstruction of justice charges. Although he initially planned on fighting the case, he decided to plead guilty after he learned that the FBI had video evidence of him behaving in a lucid and intelligent manner.
After pleading guilty to obstruction of justice, he was sentenced to another three years in prison.
Two years later, Gigante died in the MCFP Springfield federal prison at the age of 77.
Triangle Social Club location
The address and the GPS coordinates for this location are as follows:
208 Sullivan Street, Manhattan, New York, NY 10012, USA
To view directions on how to get there, you can use the Google Maps shortcut below:
The latitude and longitude coordinates for the club are:
These days, the property is home to Sullivan Street Tea & Spice Company, which is just north of the corner of Bleecker Street and Sullivan Street. The main entrance to Sullivan Street is close to the intersection between 6th Avenue and West Houston Street in Greenwich Village. It is a two-minute walk from Washington Square Park.
Private Property Warning
This is a private property. It is not a public place. Therefore, you should be respectful and not step foot on the property without permission.
Photos of the club and other related images.
208 Sullivan Street
This Google Street View image of 208 Sullivan Street was captured in July 2022.
These days, the unit is home to a store that sells teas, wild mushrooms, herbs, and spices.
The official name of the Greenwich Village Crew's hangout spot was the Triangle Civic Improvement Association. However, people often refer to it as the Triangle Social Club.
Although Gigante discussed mob matters at the club, he would only do so with a small number of trusted lieutenants. When he had to speak with other organized crime figures, he would choose to talk with them outside on the street.
To insulate himself from law enforcement, Gigante appointed Anthony "Fat Tony" Salerno the "front boss" of the Genovese family.
The authorities did not learn that Gigante was the real boss until 1986.
Church of St. Anthony of Padua
On one occasion during the 1980s, Gigante noticed that an FBI surveillance unit was following him near the corner of Sullivan Street and Houston Street.
After seeing the agents, he dropped to his knees in front of the Church of St. Anthony of Padua and pretended to pray.
This, of course, was all part of his act.
Coordinates: 40.727302, -74.001395
Triangle Civic Improvement Association
Image source: The South Bend Tribune in 1988.
When Gigante became the boss of the Genovese crime family in 1981, he selected Anthony Salerno to be his front man.
The authorities didn't learn that Gigante was the real boss until 1986.
Newspaper reports said that "The Chin" spent most of his time at the Triangle Civic Improvement Association.
225 Sullivan Street
His mother, Yolanda Gigante, lived at 225 Sullivan Street, which was just 70 yards north of the Triangle Social Club.
Although he owned a house in the suburbs, he preferred Greenwich Village so much that he spent most nights in his mother's apartment.
Neighbors said that it was a common sight to see him walking out of this building in his pajamas. He would then wander towards the cafe down the street with a befuddled look on his face.
"The Chin" put on this performance because he knew that the neighborhood was under constant surveillance. If the authorities captured footage of him acting "normal", they would be able to use it against him in court.
Coordinates: 40.729610, -73.999632
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This location belongs to the following categories:Notorious FiguresMafia LocationsNew York Mafia Locations
Other locations that are relatively close to this address:
Less than a mile away.
Crime Location in Manhattan, New York