Greenwich Village hot spot Le Figaro Café plots comeback

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Legendary Greenwich Village hot spot Le Figaro Café is coming back from the dead with nearly the same name and hopefully with the same artsy vibe.

Veteran restaurant man and former model Mario Skaric will launch Figaro Café (without the “Le”) this spring at the original location, 184-186 Bleecker St. at the MacDougal Street corner.

“It will pay homage to the most famous tenant that was there and we’ll make it more upscale,” Skaric said.

Le Figaro Café opened in 1957 and became a celebrity draw under several different owners until it closed in 2008. It drew Beat Generation pioneers such as Jack Kerouac and Lenny Bruce in the 1950s and early ’60s, and later, superstars Bob Dylan, Lou Reed and Al Pacino. A scene from Pacino’s “Carlito’s Way” was filmed there in 1993.

The revival’s a morale-booster for the Village, where the pandemic has wiped out scores of beloved eating and drinking spots. The Bleecker-MacDougal corner remains lively even though the Figaro site has been vacant for six years. A New York Times blog post lamented “The Lost Mystique of Le Figaro Café” when it closed in August 2008.


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