The San Remo Cafe: Archive Edition
Off the Grid often features images from GVSHP’s Preservation Archive and Oral History Project. The image archive includes approximately 300 images from ten different collections that document the architecture, cultural history, and preservation of Greenwich Village, the East Village, and NoHo. This summer, we were pleased to accept two new images into the archive.
These two images form the San Remo Collection. GVSHP explored the history of this iconic Village institution last summer, when we placed a plaque on the exterior of 93 MacDougal Street along with our sponsor, Two Boots. A restaurant and bar owned by the Santini family for most of its history (we can trace its dates of operation from 1925 to approximately 1970), the San Remo Café was frequented first by the local Italian community and later by writers, musicians, and artists. In the 1940s and 50s, the cafe became a hangout particularly for Beat writers. Regulars included Allen Ginsberg, Dylan Thomas, Jack Kerouac, William S. Burroughs, Miles Davis, Frank O’Hara, Judith Malina, Jackson Pollock, James Baldwin, and Gore Vidal, several of whom first met here.
The two images that comprise the collection illustrate the San Remo’s earlier history as well as its mid-century heyday as a hangout for writers and artists. The San Remo was an important part of the history of the South Village, an area GVSHP is working hard to preserve. We are incredibly happy to have these two new images as part of our archive.
To learn more about GVSHP’s image archive and how to access these and other images, visit our website.