Clients: Ryan’s Wake Pub (William Kennedy’s Prohibition Story)

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High Resolution Publicity Images

These are publicity images for “William Kennedy’s Prohibition Story.” Click on the image to view a larger version. To download a high resolution image for print, “right-click” the links provided beneath each image.

William Kennedy’s Prohibition Story – Still

Caption: From left to right: Matt Ryan, Chris Ryan, both of Utica, and Duncan Crary as bartender at Ryan’s Wake Pub, Troy, NY. Actors playing Legs Diamond and henchman in background. Photo Courtesy of WMHT.

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William Kennedy’s Prohibition Story – Movie Clip
(William Kennedy is narrating. Utica natives Chris Ryan and Matt Ryan re-enact scene.

Click to play. Right-Click and “save as” to Download HD movie clip from William Kennedy’s Prohibition Story featuring Utica natives Chris and Matt Ryan (23 MB):

Press Release


“William Kennedy’s Prohibition Story” recounts exploits of upstate NY gangster

TROY, NY (Oct. 2, 2011) — Two Utica natives will appear in a documentary film about the Prohibition broadcast tonight on the Central NY PBS affiliate.

“William Kennedy’s Prohibition Story” is a 30-minute documentary film that airs tonight Sunday, Oct. 2 at 10 pm on PBS affiliate WCNY/Channel 24 – Syracuse, NY (and tonight on WHMT/Channel 17 – Troy at 7:30 p.m. and 11:30 p.m.).

The film stars Pulitzer Prize winning author and Albany native William Kennedy (“Ironweed,””Legs”), who recounts the fascinating and violent exploits of gangster-bootlegger Jack “Legs” Diamond during the Prohibition era.

One of the most famous East Coast gangsters, Diamond built criminal empires in New York City and the Catskills during the 1920s and 30s.

The Kennedy film, which airs in conjunction with Ken Burn’s latest documentary “Prohibition,” includes archival footage and re-enactments.

In one re-enactment scene, native Utica brothers Chris Ryan, 47, and Matt Ryan, 46, play bootlegger brothers William “Red” Cassidy and Pete Cassidy who were murdered in 1929 by Legs Diamond in the gangster’s Hotsy Totsy Club on Manhattan’s West Side.

That scene and one other were filmed in Chris Ryan’s Troy, N.Y. bar, Ryan’s Wake Pub.


The beer served in the film is Utica Club!

For those who miss tonight’s broadcast, Central New York residents should check the WCNY/Channel 24 schedule for future broadcasts of “William Kennedy’s Prohibition Story.” The documentary film will also be available on DVD. It is also airing on other PBS stations across the state and beyond this October.


When Chris Ryan established Ryan’s Wake pub in 2005, in the waterfront entertainment district of Troy, N.Y., he kept his hometown connection alive by making sure Utica Club beer is always on tap. The bar owner says he serves about two kegs of UC per week, in addition to other popular Matt Brewing Company products.

Schultz & Dooley, the famous “spokesmugs” for the West End Brewing Company (later purchased by Matt Brewing Co.), also keep watch over the crowds at Ryan’s Wake, where many former Utica residents congregate.

For information about William Kennedy’s Prohibition Story, visit:

For information, call Duncan Crary at 518-274-2723 or email [email protected]