119 Norman Avenue looks like an unassuming Greenpoint house, but On New Year’s Eve 1931 It was raided by federal agents and two men were arrested. Amazingly the Greenpoint People’s Democratic Club headed by Peter J MCGuinness had offices in the same building, but Alderman McGuinness denied an knowledge of the speakeasy, nor was his club connected to it.
McGinness claimed that he never drank, but his skin color a shade or two lighter than a ripe tomato makes one dubious about this claim. Perhaps no legislator in the history of America was more ardent foe of prohibition.
Pete Organized anti-prohintion parades in Greenpoint Called Jimmy Walker Beer parades and he often put forward motions in the Council of ALdermen for relaxing restrictions on alcohol. He once proclaimed prophetically from the floor of the Council,” America does not want to be a dry country” and “New York will never be arid.”
He once memorably said,” It is a criminal shame to allow whiskey to lie while people who are lying at death’s door could be saved by it.”