Posts Tagged ‘Neon Bar Signs’

Old neon bar signs that lit up the New York sky

January 21, 2013

As more of the city’s legendary bars and taverns fall by the wayside (good-bye after 70 years, Lenox Lounge), their wonderfully evocative neon signs do too.

These examples are still giving the city its enchanting glow—or at least marking the space where an old-school dive or haunt once stood.


All that’s left of Joe’s Tavern Bar on 25th Street and 10th Avenue is its battered neon sign. It’s been shuttered for at least a few years; amazing that a developer hasn’t snapped up the space, considering how close it is to next-big-thing West Chelsea.


At least the Old Town Bar, on East 18th Street, is still in business, and the inside is as old-school as the sign out front. It got its start in 1892 and weathered Prohibition as a speakeasy with the help of political bosses at nearby Tammany Hall on 17th Street and Union Square.

Here’s a photo, with the same sign, that looks like it was taken in the 1920s or 1930s.


Arthur’s Tavern is still going strong after 76 years as a bar and jazz club on Grove Street in the West Village. The sign is in shambles and I’m not sure if it actually works.

Either way, it’s an enchanting piece of an older New York and I hope it doesn’t change.

New York’s iconic neon bar signs

July 13, 2010

I’m not much of a drinker, but the incandescent glow from those three little letters can really cast a spell, especially on a quiet dark night.

At right is the rosy-glow sign at Campanile, an old-school Italian restaurant on 29th Street between Madison and Park Avenues.

Smith’s, on 44th Street and Eighth Avenue, emphasizes their bar, not the grill. 

I wish the Fedora sign, on West Fourth Street for the past 60-plus years, had its lights on.

But that might be asking too much of this West Village survivor still hanging in there, not yet Marc Jacobs-ized or turned into a cupcake shop.

 Jeremiah can you fill you in.