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 November 1, 2019        WestView News

We had some good news this month: a beloved chocolate shop did not close, a new jazz club opened, and Bleecker Street continues its metamorphosis with a couple of new shops. We also noted two spots that are either owned by women or feature products made by women. 


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Café Bohemia—15 Barrow Street between West 4th and Bleecker Streets

We expect to read about jazz clubs closing in the Village, but it’s big news when one opens, particularly when it is a venerable one that is returning to its original space. According to the new owner, Christine Santelli, Charlie Parker used to drink Brandy Alexanders across the street from 15 Barrow, and when he couldn’t pay his tab, he offered to play instead. The owner of the bar decided that he should build a stage across the street, but unfortunately Charlie Parker died before it was completed. The new music venue was called Café Bohemia, and Miles Davis was the first to play there. Between 1955 and 1960, many famous jazz musicians and bands such as John Coltrane, Art Blakey and the jazz messengers, and Charles Mingus played there and several albums were recorded. Later, many restaurants occupied the ground floor space at 15 Barrow, including Tupelo Honey in the 1980’s, a restaurant I frequented often as I was living on the second floor of the building for a couple of years. Now the ground floor houses the Barrow Ale House. In February of 2019, Christine Santelli decided to open a jazz club in the underground space. It turns out that it also previously housed a jazz club called The Pied Piper. The new Café Bohemia will feature Jazz, Blues and Folk, 3 or 4 days a week initially, on the newly outfitted stage. Christine also mentioned that noted double bassist Jymie Merritt had played at the original Café Bohemia, and now the second generation of Merritts will also play there: Jymie’s son, Mike Merritt, who is the bassist for Conan O’Brien will be joined there by his musician brother as well as the drummer from Saturday Night Live. Specialty drinks, beer, and wine are served along with small plates and selected entrees.

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