Speakeasy at 106 Perry Street
Henry and June’s speakeasy was located in a basement at 106 Perry Street, in Greenwich Village [Google map]. The three-story building was built in 1847; 6,668 sq ft in all.  Although the modest club was initially profitable, business fell off soon afterward. By December 1925, Henry was no longer even in New York and the business was a bust. In hindsight, Miller would recall “those Arabian adventures in the speakeasy on Perry Street.”  This period is described most explicitly in the pages of Plexus (Chapter 10).
Henry acted as the manager. “I also wait on tables, fill short orders, empty the garbage, run errands, make the beds, clean house and in general make myself as useful as possible.”  (p.393). This also included collecting ice for the icebox which Henry loveed rummaging through. The illicit booze was acquired by June through an underworld connection, and sometimes from a visit to Allen Street for some Jewish “sacramental wine.”  (p.481).
Perry Street at Hudson, looking westward, with #99 at right. This photo taken in 1937, from the New York Digital Archives.
“The opening night came off with a bang,”  (p.395) bringing in an astounding (for 1925) $543.69. “For the first time in my life I was really lousy with money,” said an excited Henry  (p.395). But the short term gains quickly dropped, and, as Thanksgiving approached, the typical evening at the speakeasy consisted of Miller and his friends like Joe O’Reagan, Arthur Raymond, Emil and/or Ned Schnellock playing ping-pong, chess or the ukulele, drinking up the house stocks. "It doesn't take long for the speakeasy to become a sort of private club and recreation center. On the kitchen all is a long list of names. Beside the names is chalked up the sums owed us by our friends, our only steady customers."  (p.480).
They fell into debt. Henry’s unpaid alimony alone had stacked up to $650. Legal papers were served to Henry at 106 Perry Street for his failure to pay; he was facing possible arrest . One evening shortly before Thanksgiving 1925, while June took care of customers, Henry and his friends sat in the kitchen and concocted an idea: go to Florida to make money off the “boom.”  (p.486) Just a couple of days before they left, the Perry Street landlord served them with a summons for unpaid rent  (p.486). June was unable to maintain the business on her own, so the speakeasy went under, and she went to stay with her parents.
Another view of 106 Perry Street as it looks today (photo: Christopher Nesbit).
DAWN POWELL AT 106 PERRY ST.
A search for 106 Perry Street on the internet almost exclusively leads to the name Dawn Powell. Powell (1896-1965) was an American writer of satire. Although she is pretty obscure in my own mind, Herbert Muschamp suggested in the New York Times in 1998 that a plaque be placed at 106 Perry Street to commemorate the place where Powell began writing some of her best novels. Powell moved into 106 Perry Street in 1928, less than three years after Henry and June left it. Powell--whose diaries have been published--would not have been impressed to know that Miller lived in her basement, if this quote from her is any indication: "I feel about his Tropics that reading him is like observing somebody belch - you think, now he feels better but it doesn't do you any good." At any rate, if she is also an important American writer, then, with the combination of the Henry Miller connection, perhaps a plaque should go up at 106 Perry.
At New York Songlines are some other literary historical notes from the immediate neighbourhood.
 Henry Miller: The Final Archive (reference document) . "Letters to Henry Miller to Beatrice (Wickens) Miller"; Item #32.  I'm making an assumption here, that the "tea room" referenced in this letter is 106 Perry Street. In fact, the date of the letter (Sept 4, 1925) matches with a reference in Plexus--in the scene preceding the opening of the speakeasy--that it is September (p.367). As well, on Plexus 392, the speakeasy scene opens with a mention of the "turn of the solstice." Autumn solstice occurs in September.  See contemporary real estate listing at NeXTag.  From Tropic of Cancer: Previously unpublished sections. (Roger Jackson, 1999), p. 45.  Plexus. (Henry Miller). Grove Press paperback edition, 1987.  Happiest Man Alive (Mary Dearborn). Touchstone, 1991; p.97.  Henry Miller: A Life (Robert Ferguson). WW Norton, 1991; p.115.
Note: Oddly enough, in both his life chronology in 1943 and for My Life & Times years later, Miller remembered this speakeasy event as occurring in 1927, not 1925. In The Henry Miller Reader (1959), Henry more correctly states “1925 or ’26.” (p.83)