Gorgeous neon signs illuminating the West Village

On this warm June evening, some old-school neon eye candy is called for. Neon is at its most enchanting at twilight, isn’t it?

Each of these signs have lit up the sky on the other side of Seventh Avenue South for decades—even if the establishments they advertise are a trendy parody of the bar and restaurants they they once were.


The Beatrice Inn opened in 1924 on West 12th Street. But it’s trended up these days and is no longer the comfortable if unspectacular neighborhood Italian place it had been. “Old Village ambience” wrote Cue magazine in 1975.


Almost a century old, the Fedora, on West Fourth Street, was also recently revamped from a longtime local gay bar to a cocktails and cutting-edge menu kind of place.


Arthur’s has been a venue for live music since 1937. The vertical Arthur’s sign is wonderful but doesn’t light up anymore, unfortunately.


Infamously known as the no-slices place, John’s has been serving meals (originally on Sullivan Street) since 1929—the year of the stock market crash.

This place is one of the few reminders that Bleecker Street was once a thriving Little Italy neighborhood, not an imitation of one.


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6 Responses to “Gorgeous neon signs illuminating the West Village”

  1. Mod Betty / RetroRoadmap.com Says:

    Thanks for hepping me to a few of these signs I wasn’t aware of. I’m bummed when cool old places get reinvented, but happy to be reminded of John’s and Arthurs!

  2. ephemeralnewyork Says:

    Just looking at a photo of them makes me feel better.

  3. NHarper Says:

    hi ephemeralnewyork, is there a way to email you? they tore down a business sign in my neighborhood and revealed a great old deli sign. i snapped a pic if you’re interested in it… thought you may enjoy too 🙂

  4. ephemeralnewyork Says:

    Thank you, send it to ephemeralnewyork -at- g mail dot com

  5. Jarrett Ferrier Says:

    thanks for these images!

  6. Edward J. Says:

    I first went to Fedora’s, in 1970, on a Sunday Night. I was taken by an older gentleman who knew the wife & husband, It was in a basement and it was quaint and friendly. The wife died over 10 years and I did not make it into the city for the Services.

    What has taken its place is generic as it is all like the rest of the “so-called” trendy bars and restaurants which amount to nothing more than modern decorations and food which is neither distinctive, particularly, memorable or plentiful.

    “Much Ado About Nothing” which seems to be defacto, anywhere and everywhere, throughout Manhattan and elsewhere…imagination manifested in what is charged and the unbridled stupidly of those who pay it.

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