Whether you’re looking for a place to spend the day or night, Bleecker Street is the place to go. Located in the heart of Greenwich Village, this is a beautiful historic street that’s great to take a walk on during the day, while at night there are plenty of bars to hit up.
Though Bleecker Street runs east from Abingdon Square Park all the way to the Bowery, I’ll tell you a few things you can do and places to visit just between 7th Avenue and LaGuardia Place. During the day, be sure to stop by Porto Rico Importing Co. Founded in 1907, the original Porto Rico Importing Co. was actually located across the street from the current one on Bleecker. Since 1958, when the ownership was turned over to the Longo family, this mom-and-pop coffee/tea shop has been passed along for three generations.
When you step through the doors, the first thing that will hit you is the strong, sweet aroma of the several varieties of coffee beans.
You can buy coffee beans or a cup of coffee if you like. And if you’re not a coffee drinker, they also have a wide selection of loose leaf tea, stored in jars, on the shelves lining the walls.
Head west a little and when you cross 6th Avenue, you’ll hit Father Demo Square – a nice spot to relax with a fountain surrounded by park benches. And it’s located right across from Father Demo Hall, a venue within Our Lady of Pompei Church that holds church and other social events.
Still like listening to vinyls? Or perhaps you’re looking for a great deal on a used cd? Stop by Bleecker Street Records. They have a huge selection!
Down the block from the record store lies Murray's Cheese Shop (founded in 1940 and carrying 300 different cheeses from around the world) alongside Faicco’s Italian Specialties (a true Italian market where you can find all sorts of homemade sausages amongst other Italian eats).
As for nightlife on Bleecker Street, there are plenty of bars to choose from, the majority with a great variety of live music. Walking down this street at night, there’s no doubt you’ll hear strumming guitars, rockin’ drums and belting voices leak out of the bars. If you want to hop into one of them, try either one of these two historic clubs by Thompson Street – Kenny's Castaways or Back Fence.
Kenny’s Castaways opened in 1967 taking over what was once The Slide, a bar from the 1820s. The floors of the Back Fence are covered in sawdust and peanut shells – they serve the peanuts for free.
If you’re a beer drinker, I’d suggest either Peculier Pub located on the corner of LaGuardia Place or Blind Tiger on the corner of Jones Street. Peculier Pub carries over 300 beer selections, both domestic and imported from countries all over the world and their menu is very well-organized. They also have a pretty great selection of bar food – I recommend the beef eater wrap. A fun fact about Peculier Pub is that it used to be the only bar on Bleecker Street that didn’t have live music – today it still remains one of the few.
Blind Tiger is a beer bar that also has a huge beer selection as would be expected, bottled and on draught. I’d recommend Blind Tiger for the beer connoisseur. It also serves food just in case you get hungry.
(le) poisson rouge or LPR (meaning the red fish) as seen above may not look like much on the outside but at night, this is a hot music venue and club. Their sets range from contemporary classical music to DJ parties to indie rock concerts. Right beyond it’s front doors, there’s a fish tank hanging on chains from the ceiling, lopsided – don’t worry, the fish are okay.
There’s plenty more of history and things to do in and around Bleecker Street – too much to fit into this article. But one last thing you might want to check out is Washington Square Park, located just a couple of blocks north of Bleecker Street. At night, go see the Washington Square Arch lit up in all its glory!