The Figaro Café, southeast corner of Bleecker and MacDougal, in 1969. Same spot, below, in April 2016. Photos © Estate of Fred W. McDarrah

The Figaro Café, southeast corner of Bleecker and MacDougal, in 1969. Same spot, below, in April 2016. Photos © Estate of Fred W. McDarrah

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  The Figaro was a well known spot even before Bob Dylan bought a double-wide townhouse 100 yards away on MacDougal Street.  

  In the 1960s there were not cappuccino or espresso options at every turn. There were a handful of places - Café Reggio, just north of here on MacDougal St. being the first - that featured the stronger European brews. They were part of what made the Village interesting.

  Also barristas like Sam Shephard, who worked at the Figaro and may or may not have pulled Dylan's coffee lever at one point in time.

  Anyway the Figaro is long gone, and the corner has been a Blimpie's, a Mexican fast food restaurant and a few other failed things. Now the corner has been vacant for maybe two years, which is a disgrace. Bad for the community to have a busy corner serving as a campsite for the homeless. Bad for the economy to have an empty storefront on such a busy corner.

  Bad for the Village to have such a historic place in such a state.

  Good for the greedy-ass landlord, I imagine, who is most certainly not losing any sleep, or money, by having the place sit vacant.

  Come on a Save the Village tour and hear more about the corner and the folks that used to frequent the Figaro.  

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