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Hell's Kitchen Bar Pays Homage To Man Who Gave The Neighborhood Its Name

By Maya Rajamani | April 15, 2016 5:00pm | Updated on April 18, 2016 8:52am
 A portrait of Dutch Fred, the police officer for whom the bar is named.
A portrait of Dutch Fred, the police officer for whom the bar is named.
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DNAinfo/Maya Rajamani

HELL’S KITCHEN — Veteran police officer Dutch Fred was patrolling West 39th Street near 10th Avenue around the turn of the century when he and his rookie partner stumbled upon a street riot.

“This is hell itself,” the rookie said, shocked by what he saw.

“Hell is a milder climate,” Dutch Fred countered. “This is Hell’s Kitchen.”

The name stuck, and a new bar in the neighborhood is paying homage to that origin story.

“Dutch Fred’s” will open at 307 W. 47th St., between Eighth and Ninth avenues, this weekend, partner Shane O’Leary said.

“That’s one of the reasons Hell’s Kitchen got its name,” said O’Leary, 40, who recounted the tale. “We wanted to bring that into the neighborhood.”

 Dutch Fred's bar is opening at 307 W. 47th St. on April 16.
Dutch Fred's bar is opening at 307 W. 47th St. on April 16.
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DNAinfo/Maya Rajamani

The bar’s owners Michael and Pat McNamee also own Tanner Smith's — named for the infamous Irish gangster — the Three Monkeys and the Mean Fiddler, he said.

The watering hole will feature an “elevated cocktail menu" with Broadway-themed drinks like "The Curtain Call" — a whiskey and rum concoction with lime juice, simple syrup and egg white topped with soda and shaved nutmeg — and the "Dutch Courage" with Genever, lemon, simple syrup, celery bitters and a pinch of mint and orchid flowers.

Twenty four different craft beers and a selection of wines will also be on hand.

The food menu, meanwhile, will include a roasted carrot salad, crostinis with goat cheese and fig jam and flat breads with arugula and pesto, O'Leary said.

The bar is moving into the space formerly occupied by Blarney Stone Pub.

At least one portrait of Dutch Fred will feature prominently on the bar’s wall, he added.

Legend has it the police officer once ran into Tanner Smith at the gangster-run “Winona Club” back in the day — but let Smith walk.

“Dutch Fred never arrested him — it was just a brief encounter,” O'Leary said.