Common visitors to the tavern were James Baldwin, Bob Dylan, Mary Travers, Norman Mailer, John Ashbery, Anais Nin, Frank O’Hara, Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, and Jim Morrison. In fact, it became known as a “nostalgic high temple of the Alcoholic Artist” by New York magazine, due to the common ruckus stirred among its drunken guests. One of the White Horse's bathroom stalls even has the words Go home Jack! scrawled onto it, which was supposedly put there by a customer frustrated by Jack Kerouc's belligerent behavior.
Perhaps the most notable visitor of all, however, was the Welsh poet Dylan Thomas. After being introduced to the bar by fellow poet Ruthven Todd in 1950, Thomas could be regularly found at the bar telling stories of his beloved Wales, [reciting] from his favorite poets, savagely [satirizing] literary critics, [bursting] into musical hall ditties... and [answering] questions with self-deflating aphorisms, deadpan wit, and ebullient laughter.
Unfortunately, though, the tavern would beThomas' last watering hole before his death. On November 3, 1953, the poet drank eighteen shots of whiskey, and, allegedly, stumbled out into the street right afterwards. He was then taken back to the Chelsea Hotel, where he was staying, and died at New York’s St. Vincent Hospital a few days later due to complications from pneumonia and other ailments.
The memory of Thomas is still kept alive at the tavern today, however, for, alongside the namesake white horse pictures and figurines, memorabilia in his honor can be found. Also, on the anniversary of his death, the White Horse serves the last meal he ate there before he died.