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Historic Village Bohemian Haunt Favored by Kerouac to Get Memorial Plaque

 In this 1960 photo of MacDougal Street, the San Remo Cafe appears at the left.
In this 1960 photo of MacDougal Street, the San Remo Cafe appears at the left.
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MANHATTAN — Allen Ginsberg, Miles Davis, Jack Kerouac and James Baldwin all hung out at a bar on MacDougal Street in the 1950s, but nothing at the site of the long-closed business indicated its history.

That will change on Monday.

A historic plaque marking the site of the San Remo Cafe literary hub will be installed Monday at 6:30 p.m. by the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation and the local pizza chain Two Boots.

Now home to the Italian restaurant Pasta Bistro Grill, 93 MacDougal St. was the site of the San Remo starting in 1925, according to GVSHP.

The bar had a pressed tin ceiling and black-and-white tile floor, and it was favored by a disaffected bunch, according to a PBS biography of the writer Delmore Schwartz, who haunted the San Remo.

Kerouac described the bar's crowd in his 1958 book "The Subterraneans," according to the film. 

"Hip without being slick, intelligent without being corny, they are intellectual as hell and know all about [Ezra] Pound without being pretentious or saying too much about it. They are very quiet, they are very Christlike," Kerouac wrote.

Former patrons of the San Remo will attend the unveiling of the plaque on Monday, according to GVSHP.

The location of the bar — which closed in 1967 — falls within the proposed South Village Historic District, which is under consideration for landmark designation by the city.