8. Stewart’s Cafeteria, Greenwich Village

Stewart's Cafeteria building in Greenwich Village

Stewart’s Cafeteria occupied the first floor of an Art Deco building at 116 Seventh Avenue South in Greenwich Village. Opened in 1933, it was part of a chain of cafeterias. Stewart’s was only open for a few years before closing and re-opening as Life Cafeteria. The building still exists today (it houses a Bank of America and CVS Pharmacy) and is regarded as an LGBTQ+ history site.

Life Cafeteria attracted a bohemian clientele including gay and lesbian patrons. Unlike most places in the city at the time where homosexuality was hidden, the large windows of Life Cafeteria put everything that happened inside on display. Crowds of tourists often formed outside the windows to peer in. Tennessee Williams and Marlon Brando were known to visit, and the scenes inside have been captured in paintings by Paul Cadmas and Vincent La Gambina.

Dubrow’s Cafeteria Book Talk

Woman sitting in the window at Dubrow's Cafeteria

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