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History

Marie’s Crisis Cafe opened its doors in 1929 as a restaurant/speakeasy by Marie DuMont, a French national, for whom the bar is partly named after. The Crisis part of the name comes from the fact that Thomas Paine who wrote the pamphlet, The American Crisis, died on the site in 1809. The current building dates back to 1839. From that date to 1929 the building was once a boarding house then a brothel  then eventually became the bar it is now. Marie DuMont sold the building and the bar to the current owners, the Grant Family, in 1972, at which time they stopped serving food. We are not sure exactly when Marie’s became a sing-a-long. The facade of the building and the interior have been the backdrop to many movies and television  shows/series, including the shows The Politician and Younger and the movies, Adam & Steve and  Side Street, you will see a cameo by Marie Dumont.

The etched glass mural behind the bar was a Work Project Administration (WPA), commissioned  by Marie to commemorate Thomas Paine’s death on the site. We are not sure whom the artist was. It depicts the American Revolution on one side and the French Revolution on the other. On the French side you will notice the communist symbols of the sickle and hammer and the man with the beard and pipe is supposed to be Vladimir Lenin. And in the middle piece are the French national motto “Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité”  and below that is the saying “Rights of Man” a book by Thomas Paine.

Marie’s Crisis Cafe is a renowned piano bar located in the heart of New York City’s Greenwich Village. Established in 1850, this historic venue has become a cherished hub for music enthusiasts and patrons seeking a unique, immersive experience.

The cafe is named after a nearby 18th-century street called “Crisis Street” and a woman named Marie, adding a touch of historical charm to its identity. What sets Marie’s Crisis apart is its lively and communal atmosphere, centered around a sing-along piano. The bar provides an intimate setting where visitors can join in and sing along to a repertoire of show tunes, Broadway classics, and timeless melodies.

The interior exudes a cozy and vintage ambiance, creating a nostalgic feel that resonates with patrons. The dim lighting and classic decor contribute to the establishment’s unique charm, making it a favorite among locals and tourists alike.

Marie’s Crisis Cafe stands as a cultural institution, preserving the tradition of live piano entertainment and communal singing. It has become a must-visit destination for those seeking an authentic and enjoyable musical experience in the vibrant landscape of Greenwich Village. Whether you are a Broadway enthusiast or simply looking for a memorable night out, Marie’s Crisis Cafe promises an unforgettable journey into the world of classic tunes and shared camaraderie.