Saturday, November 22, 2008
Mori Restaurant by Bernice Abbott
Mori was a popular Italian restaurant at the corner of Bleecker and Laguardia. The facade retained its classic looks until a couple years ago when Duane Reade took over. Even then, the window frames, columns, lintels, circular railings and top windows are the same. Duane Reade destroyed the set back off the street and the large ground floor windows, which were still intact pre '06. Lenny of Something Special was married here. The top pic was taken by Bernice Abbott, 1935.
144 Bleecker Street, Originally two Federalist era townhouses, the facade of the building was redesigned for Mori's Italian restaurant by Raymond Hood in 1920. The restaurant went out of business in 1938. The building hosted a variety of tenants until 1962. In that year the Bleecker Street Cinema, an indie art house, beloved in its era, opened in the building. After the cinema closed, a series of music venues occupied the building including the Elbow Room (06) and Nocturne, as well as Kim's Underground Video (RIP). Most all of these businesses departed the location due to rising rents. It's an eternal New York story.