Posts Tagged ‘West Eighth Street in the Village’

The tea and tap room on West Eighth Street

January 20, 2009

In the 1920 and 1930s, Village streets were lined with eclectic bars and tea houses. One establishment that apparently combined the two was the Jumble Shop at 28 West Eighth Street. 

The sign in this undated postcard says it’s a restaurant and bar. The Jumble Shop is sometimes credited as a speakeasy, it seemed to start out as an antiques shop serving tea and crumpets on the side.


In 1947, French writer and philosopher Simone de Beauvoir visited the Jumble Shop. She wasn’t too impressed. In “America Day by Day” she writes:

“This is my last night in New York for two months. I go down to Greenwich Village with my friends. Near Washington Square they show me a charming cafe, the Jumble Shop, which looks almost European with its red tiled floor and its quiet little tables arrayed along the walls. You can eat and drink there all night.

“During years of exile, French writers and painters tried to resuscitate Les Deux Magots and Le Cafe de Flore here, but they failed; their get-togethers were always too contrived. For one reason or another, New York doesn’t have the right atmosphere for cafe life.”