Cornelia Street Cafe opened in 1977 with all day dining and a performance space downstairs and soon became a magnet for artistic and creative types. It was the birthplace of the Monday nights songwriters workshop started by singer/songwriter and then café waitress Carolyne Mas in Dec 1977. The one rule for songwriters was that the song had to have been written or at least heavily worked on within the past week. The song was performed and critiqued by fellow songwriters and then the following week the song was brought back in its improved upon and hopefully final stage. The café was a venue for songwriters like Suzanne Vega @therealsuzannevega who perfected their craft here. Lady Gaga @ladygaga worked at the cafe as a teenager. In 1977 when the cafe first opened the rent was $450 a month and in 2017 it was $33,000 a month.
It truly breaks our heart 💔to hear of this closure as Cornelia Street Cafe really represented the artistic spirit of the Village. Photo from 2014 appears in our book “Store Front II-A History Preserved”.