Why Is Hells Kitchen Called Hell’S Kitchen?

Ever wondered why the neighbourhood of Hell’s Kitchen in Manhattan got its name? It might be surprising to learn that the area didn’t get its name from any type of hellish activity.

Instead, the name refers to a remarkable event that took place more than a century ago and has left a lasting imprint on the neighbourhood. Discover the story of how Hell’s Kitchen got its name and why it’s so firmly embedded in New York City’s past.

Why is Hell’s Kitchen called Hell’s Kitchen?

Known as one of the most bustling neighborhoods of Manhattan, Hell’s Kitchen is an iconic area that’s known for its lively feel.

However, it wasn’t always known as Hell’s Kitchen. There have been several speculations regarding the origin of the name and why this area was ultimately referred to as such. In this article we will explore what it is about this area that gave it the name Hell’s Kitchen and the key events that lead to its rebranding.

What’s the Origin of Hell’s Kitchen?

There are several theories regarding the origin of the name Hell’s Kitchen which has often been thought of as originating from the environmental conditions people had to endure in the neighborhood.

The living conditions in the area were difficult, housing many immigrants and poor families. There was also frequent criminal activity and violence because it was a war-zone at the time. It was even home to some of the most notorious gangs of NYC.

However, according to one popular belief, the name originates from words of an Irish-born police captain named Martin Gorman who lived there in the 1850s. He is said to have remarked about the area saying, “This place is Hell itself.

” Gorman’s phrasing eventually evolved into what we now call “Hell’s Kitchen”.

From Hell’s Kitchen to Clinton With Love

In the 1970s, in an effort to restore the area’s reputation, it was decided to rebrand Hell’s Kitchen by changing its name. The new chosen name was “Clinton”, after the DeWitt Clinton park which overlooks the Hudson River and Clinton Street that runs through the area.

This decision also capitalized on the prior association of the area with the 18th century Governor DeWitt Clinton, however the name never really took off with the neighborhood’s inhabitants. Despite having being labeled as “Clinton” during that time, the old nickname of Hell’s Kitchen has been stubbornly clinging on and ultimately did not disappear. Even now, one of the most popular television shows, “Hell’s Kitchen” is set in this neighborhood, keeping the nickname alive for generations to come.


As we have seen, the nickname Hell’s Kitchen is rooted in the area’s difficult and sometimes violent past. But through the years, the name has come to embody the neighborhood’s unique culture and diverse character. Despite its rebranding attempts, Hell’s Kitchen is here to stay,and has become a thriving neighborhood and popular landmark of New York City. Citation URL: – https://inthesetimes. com/article/18457/Hell’s_Kitchen_New_York- https://www. timeout. com/newyork/things-to-do/hells-kitchen- https://travel. lovetoknow. com/History_of_Hell’s_Kitchen_New_York_City

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