When everybody dropped by the Cedar Tavern

“You had painters coming in there, and poets,” wrote artist Larry Rivers in a November 5, 1979 New York piece about the Cedar Tavern.

The legendary beat-abstract expressionist hangout hit its stride in the 1950s and early 1960s, when it was located at 24 University Place.

Writers like Jack Kerouac (supposedly banned from the premises for peeing in a sink), Frank O’Hara, and Gregory Corso were some of the regulars.

But it was really more of an artist’s establishment, as Rivers explained:

“When you went to the bar, de Kooning was there and Franz Kline and Milton Resnick, and every writer who wrote about art . . . everybody would come down. That was the place to go—it was a scene.

“Women came in; parties emanated from there. It had a certain kind of exuberance, and every day and every night you could just drop in before you went home.

“It was your neighborhood bar, but the neighborhood was really the art community, the downtown art community.”

Photos by Fred McDarrah, chronicler of the Village in the 1950s and 1960s.

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7 Responses to “When everybody dropped by the Cedar Tavern”

  1. Nabe News: October 13 - Bowery Boogie | A Lower East Side Chronicle Says:

    […] the Cedar Tavern, the 1950s and 1960s beat hangout which once resided at 24 University Place [Ephemeral NY] Tweet Street: n/a Tags: Nabe News You […]

  2. Richard Mook Says:

    Can anyone tell me about an abstract painter Alexander Marcinkiewicz that hung out at the Tavern in the 1950’s and 1960’s? Any info is appreciated.

    • neil murdock Says:

      Alex lived with our family in early 60’s for a year. Contact me if you need specific information, leave Alex’s name in subject of email

      • Richard Says:

        Thanks for you reply Neil, I found a painting of his titled Coney Island a few years back. It now has a new owner but would still like to learn all I can. He had a tremendous style. Any light you could share on his career would be appreciated. Best

      • Lara - Alex Marcinkiewicz Says:

        Dear Neil,

        I would really appreciate any information about Alex Marcinkiewicz. I’ve got two of his paintings at home, wonderful paintings, but I do not know anything about this artist.

        Thank you very much
        Lara

    • Lara - Alex Marcinkiewicz Says:

      Hi Richard,

      As written in the comment below I’ve got two wonderful paintings of this unknown artist Alex Marcinkiewicz. Can you tell me anything about him? I would really appreciate it.

      Thank you very much,
      Lara

  3. Richard Says:

    Hello Laura, I’m sorry I have not found any more information.

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