Today I’d like to welcome Karen Greco, who recently published Hell’s Belle (reviewed here). She’s here to talk about…
Hell’s Belle inspiration: Babe’s On the Sunnyside
by Karen Greco
Babe’s on the Sunnyside, the bar that Nina and her aunt Babe run, was a real bar located in Providence’s Fox Point neighborhood.
Located on the ground floor of a tenement building, it was the quintessential dive bar. The kind of place where old men from the neighborhood would knock back a few beers. College kids who were cool with the dive bar vibe could be found in the tiny place as well. The conversation veered from motorcycles, to politics, to history, to sports. It was just a fun place to be.
And any place with a huge jar of pickled eggs behind the bar is the perfect bar to enjoy a pint or two.
Babe was owner. He was this very old diminutive man, kind of like the bar itself. The walls were covered in old boxing photos. From what I was told, Babe was a former trainer and a bunch of the pictures on the wall were the boxers that he had trained. The beers were cheap, the ambiance was chill.
The bar was sold, and cleaned up considerably. I entertained buying the place when it went up for sale again a few years ago. But cleaned up and without Babe, it lost the charm–gritty as it was– of the original.
Babe’s now lives on in my imagination, and, I am happy to say, in the pages of Hell’s Belle.
An award-winning playwright, Karen Greco has spent close to twenty years in New York City, working in publicity and marketing for the entertainment industry.A life-long obsession with exorcists and Dracula drew her to urban fantasy, where she can decapitate characters with impunity. HELL’S BELLE is her first novel.