Marie's Crisis - Arthur's Tavern / Thomas Paine

Art & Culture | Bars | History

Show Tunes, Common Sense, and Jazz History

thomas paine maries crisis arthurs tavern greenwich village




About Marie's Crisis - Arthur's Tavern / Thomas Paine

 & why it made the Carpe City list

These are the times that try men’s souls… and their knowledge of musical theater! Marie’s Crisis Café is a West Village sing-along piano bar where belting out show tunes is the order of the day. But, the “crisis” in question has nothing to do with show business. It has to do with the American Revolution.

Thomas Paine authored “Common Sense” (1776) and “The American Crisis” (1776-1783), two of the most influential pamphlets at the start of the American Revolution. He helped inspire the Patriots in 1776 to declare independence from Great Britain. We know you’re saying, “What?!” Marie’s takes its name from Thomas Paine’s pamphlet “The Crisis.” Why? Paine died here in 1809 after spending his last months at 59 Grove Street. The revolutionary history lives on in the bar’s spectacular etched glass WPA (Work Project Administration) Mural, which depicts scenes from the American and French Revolutions.

Ok, but how did this place go from Thomas Paine’s house to a house of tunes? Here’s what we know: The bar opened in the 1850s as a brothel, became a gay bar in the 1890s, and adopted its “Crisis” identity during Prohibition when in 1929, Marie DuMont re-opened the doors as a restaurant/speakeasy. Named partly after herself and partly after the man who died on the site in 1809, Marie’s Crisis Café has been a musical theater hot spot for about half a century!

Carpe City Trivia

Did you know - Marie's is also a celeb hot spot!

Everyone from Alan Cumming to Jimmy Fallon has been known to grab a seat at Marie's piano and belt one out. And so can you! Everyone's welcome. Additionally, the facade of the building and interior have been the backdrop to many movies and television shows/series.

Looking for even more music? Arthur's Tavern (57 Grove St.) is right next door. It's the oldest continuously operational Jazz Club in NYC, founded in 1937. If you step in for a set, you're treading on hallowed ground; all the greats (including Charlie Parker and Roy Hargrove) have played there!

By: Lucie Levine




New York City Tours

Great Places Near Marie's Crisis - Arthur's Tavern / Thomas Paine

gay liberation monument sculpture greenwich village
Art & Culture

Gay Liberation Monument

A Well-Placed Sculpture to a Monumental Movement

204 West 4th Street, New York, NY 10014
Duplex piano bar cabaret theater greenwich village arts
Art & Culture

The Duplex Piano Bar and Cabaret Theater

A Historical Cabaret Theater That is also a Celebrated LGBTQ+ Spot

61 Christopher St, New York, NY 10014
Buvette bread and wine greenwich village


Fabulous All-Day French Café by Chef Jody Williams

42 Grove St, New York, NY 10014
Kettle of Fish Restaurant greenwich village
Art & Culture

Kettle of Fish

The Bar Where Jack Kerouac meets the Green Bay Packers

59 Christopher St, New York, NY 10014
The Garret interior greenwich village drinks

The Garret

A stylish cocktail bar tucked away in the 2nd Floor of a Five Guys

296 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014
fairfax food greenwich village


A Favorite in the Village for a Casual Cafe Meal or Glass of Unique Small Production Wines.

234 West 4th Street, New York, NY 10014
Stonewall Inn greenwich village bar

The Stonewall Inn

Landmarked Bar Where Pride Began

53 Christopher St, New York, NY 10014
smalls greenwich village bars
Art & Culture


Tiny spot for high-quality Jazz

183 W 10th St, New York, NY 10014
I Sodi pasta dish restaurant greenwich village

I Sodi

Outstanding Tuscan with a Cozy Modern Vibe

105 Christopher St, New York, NY 10014

More Great Walking Tours


Sign up to our monthly e-mail about the latest and greatest places for food, wine art and history

Skip to content