Actress Katherine Waterston
on the Iconic Great Jones Cafe
“There are things you can’t fake. At Great Jones Cafe you feel the history. It’s on the street where Basquiat lived and where Don DeLillo set his novel, Great Jones Street. It’s got an amazing vinyl jukebox. New Yorkers’ apartments are so small, these places become our living rooms. I’ve had remarkable and unremarkable dates at Great Jones, I celebrated here when I got Inherent Vice. Lauren Hutton said she used to live near Great Jones – her doormen were crackheads and they’d rate her outfits: ‘Looking good today, Miss Hutton!’ It was rough, but there was a community. Right now, there’s elitist preservation going on. The city doesn’t understand that the dives have as much value as museums uptown. What I loved about Joaquin in Inherent Vice is that he’s in this rough-and-tumble world but has a kind spirit.
That’s how you feel in Great Jones Cafe.”
“Select from the vinyl jukebox at the Great Jones Cafe.
It’s one of the last left in in the city. Spin a record while you still can. Great Jones Cafe’s jukebox is a legend that dates back 20 years, when the Bowery was sordid and punk was king. It packs a permanent collection of old-timers like Johnny Cash and Howlin’ Wolf. The food and drink are equally uncompromising. Johnny will always look kindly on you from heaven if you hoist a Cajun Bloody Mary, stoked with house-made jalepeno-infused vodka.”
1000 Things To Do In New York
The 10 Best Jukeboxes In NYC
You can talk about the service or beer and shot specials, but one feature that can make or break a dive
before you even belly up to the bar is the jukebox. In the wrong hands, today’s Internet-enabled options shine brightly from the corner,
tempting patrons with bad taste to cue up some truly awful Top 40.
However, an expertly loaded jukebox has the power to transform even the grimiest of holes in the wall. Whether they’re culled from
obscure indie samplers or mined from the depths of a treasured vinyl collection,
a good jukebox could put any of your Spotify playlists to shame.
Save up your quarters, and give these 10 of our favorite jukeboxes a spin.
GREAT JONES CAFE
We’re not sure what’s a greater southern comfort at Great Jones Cafe: the exemplary cajun/creole cuisine or the the old-school juke
boasting classic rock, zydeco, soul and funk. Chow down on jambalaya to the sweet sounds of Nina Simone, The Ramones and James Brown
while sipping on a happy hour half-price pint.
Great Jones Cafe is located at 54 Great Jones St.
between Bowery and Lafayette Street in NoHo (212-674-9304, greatjones.com).