Julian’s pool hall and an Automat on 14th Street

Certain defunct New York businesses are remembered with great fondness.

One is the automat—actually the 50 or so Horn & Hardart automats that used to exist all over the city. The fast food of their era, they dispensed hot coffee, sandwiches, baked beans, and pie to millions of busy New Yorkers cheaply and efficiently.


Another is Julian’s pool academy, a seedy but popular venue for decades that’s been gone from East 14th Street since 1991.

Who knew these two beloved establishments once shared the same building at 115 East 14th Street?


An Ephemeral reader did, and he sent this photo, from 1933, showing the original location of Julian’s upstairs from an automat. The building was demolished in the early 1980s to make way for Zeckendorf Towers, and Julian’s moved across the street to the old Palladium building, once the Academy of Music.

The second photo, from the NYPL Digital Gallery, was taken two years later, showing the new revolving door at the automat. What a treat!

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20 Responses to “Julian’s pool hall and an Automat on 14th Street”

  1. mykola (mick) dementiuk Says:

    No, Julian’s was on the south side side of 14th St and across the street, a bit north, was the Automat. I spent many a day there scheming how to get a date from the girls who walked along 14th St. There was an upstairs where the restrooms were and one time the girl I had been after walked in holding hands with another guy. They announced their engagement and I was devastated, spent the rest of the afternoon in the restroom or walking the streets. Walking the streets alone was a lot better than walking with her, I was certain. Oh well, life goes on…

  2. lbrown Says:

    Some nice things about the old days.

  3. Whammo Says:

    I remember going to that pool hall in the 80s it was a dump.

  4. greg chown Says:

    My mother took me to NY in 1970 when I was 10 and we went to the Automat (not sure which one) and not much of a story either..

  5. Newport Carl Says:

    Just love these photos!

  6. mykola (mick) dementiuk Says:

    Ever since I was going to Julian’s, the early 1960s, it was always on the east side of 14th St. Nice to know in had been on west side in the 1940s.

  7. Nick Says:

    Julian’s was never on the west side of 14th St. First it was at 115 E 14th, and then it moved to 138 E 14th until it closed in 1991.

  8. Real Estate News NYC via Tigho | EV Grieve Etc.: Mourning Edition - Real Estate News NYC via Tigho Says:

    […] A Horn & Hardart automat and Julian’s pool hall once shared an address on East 14th (Ephemeral New York) […]

  9. bowery boy Says:

    I’m not one to advocate to saving pool halls or cafeterias, but tearing down that incredible building is a crime. It could have been so many other things. Same with Luchows next door.

  10. realeyezlife Says:

    dude…luv pic of avignone pharmacy on 6th avenue and bleeker…it’s my last name 🙂

  11. Stephanie Says:

    It was S. Klein’s on the Square that was demolished for the Zeckendorf Towers.

  12. Three centuries and three views of East 14th Street | Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] took over the site. The Irving Hotel, visible in the 1883 photo, is now a rooming house. A Horn & Hardart automat exists, as does a bar called […]

  13. michael porrazzo Says:

    my family owned a liquor store on 107 east 14th, and we eventually moved into the automat after it closed. I still have some marble slabs from the automat.

  14. AMBR Says:

    I worked in this building when it was a Burger King in 1977. I thought there was a gypsy fortune teller place above? Lol my memory.

  15. The glory days of Julian’s 14th Street pool hall | Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] New York has celebrated Julian’s before, where (mostly) men and teenage boys shot pool and played hooky from work and life. But these […]

  16. Marion Kettering Says:

    That would have been a perfect COVID-19 setup with all the food behind it’s own little door🥪

  17. David Broad Says:

    I went to Stuyvesant HS on East 15th Street, 1960-63, and frequented the Automat. Just went to Julian’s once, but sensed its iconic presence.

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