Cornelia Street Cafe

The Cornelia Street Cafe, was a restaurant & bar at 29 Cornelia Street in New York City's Greenwich Village, United States, opened in July 1977. The cafe closed at the end of 2018, due to rising rents from the gentrification of the West Village; ending on its holiday closed day of New Years 2019.[1][2] The cafe had been voted one of the best places to listen to jazz music in the world.[2]

Cornelia Street Café
Cornelia Street Cafe sign, circa 2009
Cornelia Street Cafe, circa 2009
Cornelia Street Cafe, circa 2009
Restaurant information
EstablishedJuly 1977; 43 years ago (1977-07)
ClosedJanuary 1, 2019; 19 months ago (2019-01-01)
Owner(s)Robin Hirsch
Previous owner(s)Charles McKenna, Raphaela Pivetta, Robin Hirsch
Dress codeCasual
Street address29 Cornelia St.
CountyNew York City
StateNew York State
CountryUnited States of America
Coordinates40°43′53″N 74°00′09″W / 40.731348°N 74.002391°W / 40.731348; -74.002391

Music workshopEdit

It was the birthplace of the Monday night songwriter's workshop started by singer/songwriter/and then cafe waitress Carolyne Mas, in December 1977. The group became known as The Songwriter's Exchange, and released an album on Stash Records in 1980. The cafe was a venue in which songwriters like Suzanne Vega, the group's most famous alumna, perfected their craft. The Songwriter's Exchange, over time and under the guidance of Jack Hardy eventually evolved into the cooperative that formed the Fast Folk Musical Magazine.

Other regular contributors to the workshop included Carolyne Mas, Jack Hardy, Tom Intondi, David Massengill, Ray Korona, Cliff Eberhardt, Steven Brant, Lucy Kaplansky, Rod MacDonald, and Michael Fracasso.[citation needed]


In the 21st century, the Cornelia Street Cafe was a restaurant and nightclub, showcasing musicians, poets, writers, and artists. Author Robin Hirsch is one of the owners. Singer/songwriter/pianist Valerie Ghent now runs The Songwriter's Beat, the current incarnation of The Songwriter's Exchange. In 1998, the Cafe was one of the restaurants recognized by the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation with a Village Award presented to "Cornelia Street Restaurants".[3]

The Pink Pony open mic poetry series is held at the Cornelia Street Cafe, and Jackie Sheeler is the host. Spoken word and Poetry Slam artists are featured.

In popular cultureEdit


  1. ^ Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya (12 December 2018). "West Village Art Haven Cornelia Street Cafe Will Close After 41 Years". Eater NY.
  2. ^ a b Kristen Saloomey (1 January 2019). "New York's Cornelia Street Cafe is latest victim of rising rents". Al Jazeera.
  3. ^ "Past Village Award Winners". Retrieved 1 June 2015.

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 40°43′53″N 74°00′09″W / 40.731348°N 74.002391°W / 40.731348; -74.002391