in Greenwich Village early 1950's...

In Greenwich Village is the iconic street MacDougal St. and W3 St. with Washington Square Park nearby -

refer to map below...

Coffee Houses on MacDougal Street:


Apparently, it was also a place David Bowie regularly visited:



Ramones - Washington Square Park 1976 by Danny Fields.

On the corner of Washington Square North and MacDougal Street - 1958.

Photo - Peter Stackpole



Greenwich Village is where Steve McQueen based himself after leaving the marines in 1950 as a 20 year old.
Click on the newspapers:




Steve McQueen made artificial flowers on 3rd Avenue basement (p.24)


"In late 1952 - He was one of the regulars in the back room of the WHITE HORSE TAVERN." (P.51, McCoy)


He met DONNA BARTON at HANSON'S DRUGSTORE on 51st and 7th Avenue at 1650 Broadway and had a three year relationship and met at SAN REMO, Greenwich.


Donna knew Sandy Meisner at the Neighbour Playhouse
1954 - Jerry's Bar, Uptown with JAMES DEAN
1955 - The Actors Studio - recite "Sailing to Byzantium / By the age of 25 years had been in three Plays...
1955 - Fifth floor slum on East 10th Street / worked as a mechanic in an Upper West Side Garage (p.60)
27th March, 1955 - TV
Neile lived at 69 West 55th Street, NYC







Crime Detective - August 1960...

Girlfriend: DONNA BARTON...



Steve McQueen attended the Neighbourhood Playhouse at 340 East 54 Street in New York in 1951...after three years in the Marines



The Neighbourhood Playhouse, 340 E54 Street...

{Sandy Meisner & Steve McQueen}




Steve McQueen obtained a two year scholarship to attend the HB Studios, Bank Street...




HB Studio

Source of where Steve McQueen lived in Greenwich Village:

But he lived in a half a dozen places:

118, MacDougal Street with his Mother

240, Sullivan Street with his Mother

58 Barrow Street is where his mother lived with Lukens

27 N.Washington Square with Richard Martin

Steve McQueen rented a room in an apartment with Glover Van Dexter (Toy Store) possibly at 283 Bleecker Street "Also he lived in Sheridan Square...there was a place there that he shared right near "Louis" Tavern) - it was about a block and a half away"  and 63 7th Avenue has been suggested.

- Vim & Vigor: 157 West 57th Street (health food shop)
- Salad Bowl: 833 7th Avenue (health food)
- Actors Service: 161 West 54th Street (poker room)
- Wellington Hotel: 871 7th Avenue (girls ...)


{Credit - Marie Fotini}





- Sardi’s West: 234 West 44th Street (restaurant)
- St James Theatre: 246 West 44th Street (where Neile performed)
- Sardi’s East: 123 East 54th Street (restaurant)
- Downey’s: 705 8th Avenue (restaurant where Neile and McQueen met)
- “Love” location: corner W 57th / 6th Ave (where Neile met McQueen for the first time)
- Neile’s flat: 37 West 57th Street

- The Neighbourhood Playhouse: 340 East 54th Street (McQueen train here from 1950 to 1952)

- The Actors Studio: 432 West 44th Street (McQueen trained here from 1954 onwards)

- Lyceum Theatre: 149 West 45th Street (where McQueen performed in the play ' A Hatful of Rain')

Richard Martin and Steve McQueen hung out at SARDI's on 234 West 44th Street


Steve McQueen attended The Actors Studio on West 44th Street

Richard Martin and Steve McQueen would pick up girls from Sardi's in West 44th Street and take them to Hotel Wellington and slip the porter $20 for a room


N.B. The Actors Service from the 1963-64 phone book was on 54th Street and NOT as Martin remembers...




Suggested meeting between Neile Adams and Steve McQueen at 57 St M on the above map


The Salad Bowl was 833 7th Avenue, now The Gift Shop


 "Vim & Vigour" Health store was 157 West 57th Street, the building is demolished now...

The El Train

Steve McQueen's mother lived at 118, MacDougal Street, Greenwich Village, a cold water flat

Opposite is the famous Cafe Wha - at 115 MacDougal Street

Steve McQueen stayed with Richard Martin for a short period of time at 27, North Washington Square while apartment hunting



{Credit: Marie Fotini}


Viktor Lukens lived at 16 East 37 Street:

possibly with Steve McQueen's mother and Steve may have lived here on occasions.


Nearby at 149 East 33rd Street lived Roy Schatt, a photographer, who took photographs of James Dean.

After Dean's death Steve McQueen visited Roy Schatt and became friends...(1956)


Steve McQueen on cover of "Crime Detective Magazine" Vol. 5 #1 May 1958 with a photo on the inside of the magazine...

Steve McQueen's first acting job aged 22 years old...



Girl on the run was filmed in 1952 when McQueen was 22 years old. Victor Lukens was Director of Photography and Lukens may have got McQueen a part in the film as he was in a relationship with his mother

The Film:




Roy Schatt - Photographer - lived at 149 East 33rd Street


Interview with Elaine Schatt:

Roy Schatt on James Dean:

Roy Schatt and James Dean in Schatt's back garden


(filmed by James Dean at Roy Schatt’s)


Steve McQueen visited Schatt's house soon after Schatt's friend James Dean died in a car accident in 1955


1956 - Roy Schatt


Roy Schatt (1909 - 2002), achieved world renown for his photography of many of cinema's most iconic stars, such as James Dean, Marilyn Monroe, Paul Newman and Steve McQueen. Roy took approximately 85 photographs of Steve, 8 of which were published, and several of which were given to Steve. What makes his McQueen images unique, apart from their visual beauty, is that they were taken during 1956 while Steve was still an unknown struggling actor, 2 years before he achieved stardom as Josh Randall on the hit TV series Wanted: Dead or Alive.

Back in July, 2005 I contacted Elaine Schatt (Roy's widow), interested in learning the story behind Roy's relationship with Steve and the famous pictures he took of him.

Elaine put me in contact with Roy's close friend Franklin, with the following recommendation:

Franklin is a 20 year plus dear friend to Roy much like Jimmy (Dean) was. He helps me with my computer work and sales and knows every story from the old days as he and Roy spent years together reading, shooting and talking about the old days.

Franklin was kind enough to share his very clear memories of his conversations with Roy on the subject of Steve McQueen, and they can be read below.


Roy did not talk as much about Steve as he did Jimmy (Dean) but Steve was a good pal of Roy's as well. Steve showed up at Roy's door knocking right after Jimmy died, he apparently had a tough time with Jimmy's death and wanted to see Roy's studio as he knew Jimmy and Roy were good friends. 

Roy actually did not like Steve when he first met him, he felt like he was trying to be Jimmy and it turned Roy off. To the point that Roy, after reading some lines with Steve (Roy was also a method coach as well as a photographer, Lee Strasburg (Actors Studio) titled Roy the "method photographer"). Roy told Steve he did not think he had a career in acting, WOW was Roy wrong and much like Jimmy, Steve changed Roy's mind, literally a week later Steve came back and blew Roy away with a monologue. Well, that was it and they became friends.

Roy shot all the images of Steve in the studio and in the studio back garden. The ones of Steve in front of the drop cloth were posed for headshots for Steve. But the candid photos of Steve with the sweater on were taken when the 2 of them were just hanging out together. Like the SMOKE shot attached. Steve frequented the studio and read with Roy over the years. He introduced Ali (MacGraw) to Roy when they first started dating. After that Roy and Steve lost touch until many years later, Steve called Roy when he was not well and talked to Roy on the phone for 4 hours. Roy adored Steve as much as he did Jimmy, and Roy does not like actors in general, but obviously these were 2 of the all time greats.





CBS Television Wanted Dead or Alive actor Steve McQueen, driving a rented Mercedes Benz 300L, and his wife Neile Adams visit Central Park, NY...

Images dated May 6, 1960

They are here:,-73.9814296,3a,75y,105.42h,84.89t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sshp_icbSpZiAlr-qFDT0Og!2e0!7i13312!8i6656












Steve McQueen and his wife Neile Adams visit his old haunts in Greenwich Village, NY


The rubble that Steve McQueen is standing on is Gristedes now. Corner of West 4th and Barrow was once where Louis' Tavern stood


Greenwich Village documentary (1960)


Greenwich Village Theatre


Building with the fake peaked roof front is Louis Tavern

"Future site of Gristedes, August 29, 1959.

Photo - Estate of Fred W.Darrah



At 5:45pm on this day in 1955, 24 year old actor James Dean is killed in Cholame, California when the Porsche he is driving hits a Ford Tudor sedan at an intersection .

The driver of the other car was dazed but mostly uninjured.



At 5:45 p.m. on 30 September 1955, film icon James Dean was killed in a car accident when his new Porsche Spyder crashed head on into another car. Rolf Wutherich, Dean's friend and mechanic (who had been riding with the movie star) was thrown from the Spyder and survived the wreck, but Dean was pinned inside, his neck broken. Donald Turnupseed, the driver of the other car, suffered only relatively minor injuries. After the accident, many fans refused to believe Dean was dead. A story circulated that he was still alive although terribly disfigured, and in true urban legend fashion this tale took on a life of its own. Eerily, only a short while before his death, Dean had appeared in a car safety television spot, admonishing young people not to speed because "The life you might save might be mine."


This is the building which has been built on the rubble McQueen is walking across in Sheridan Square

Gristede's Foods was where Louis Tavern was located





Unfortunately, during most of the twentieth century, Sheridan Square served as nothing more than a traffic-safety island.  It wasn’t until 1982 that the area went from a paved triangle to a lovely viewing garden.



3, Sheridan Square is where Louis Tavern was located and it is where Steve McQueen was the barman there in the '50's


Steve McQueen and Neile visits his old haunts in Greenwich Village, NYC in his Mercedes Benz 300L on the 6th May, 1960



Location 1 - Source: Marie Fotini

Location 2 - Source of detailed location below by: Bob Egan & Marie Fotini

Looking through the shop window the building opposite appears to be similar to the building below





Location 3 -Source: Marie Fotini

McQueen came to work on a part time job in Jerry Francis and went on 2 service calls with me "real ladies" man and "friendly"

Left - Petey "black" Lombardi, Jerry (Googie) Figgiani, (Steve McQueen), Cosmo Nigro (in the black & background), Luigi Pinto (far right) and next to him is probably Butchie Perazzo
(236-240 Sullivan Street in Greenwich Village)

"McQueen would ride his bike down Sullivan street to the Atomic bowl luncheonette (236 Sullivan Street) - wiseguys took to him-made a lot of noise-by all accts a regular dude."

"Jerry Figgiani owned the bar 'Googies' at 237, Sullivan Street. He met Steve McQueen the first time at the candy store which was 238, Sullivan Street. They became good friends. The last time they spoke was when he was making the movie Papillon."


Jerry Figgiani (on the right) with 'Abbott and Costello'...

Steve McQueen lived at 240, Sullivan Street (corner of West 3rd Street) with his mother
...and he worked for Francis TV


Apparently, when Steve McQueen became famous in Hollywood he would return to Greenwich Village and drop into a blacked out windows 'Members Only' drinking parlour, in Sullivan Street, with allegedly gangster influences


Abbott and Costello at Jerry Figgiani's Grandmother at 2, Bedford Street, Greenwich Village


Steve McQueen often went into Louie's bar in Greenwich Village for something to eat, nearby was Circle in the Square Theatre opposite Sheridan Square in Greenwich Village


THEN - Circle in the Square Theatre, 1950's - 5, Sheridan Square

To the LEFT of the Circle Theatre was Louis Tavern (196, West 4th Street)

NOW - Theatre replaced by apartments


San Remo Bar at 93,MacDougal Street in Greenwich Village.

Denise McCluggage lived at 11, Cornelia Street. This street is just around the corner where Denise and Steve McQueen would meet at Joe's Luncheonette on West 4th Street in Greenwich Village.

1959 - corner of West 4th and Jones Street - Joe's Luncheonette is in the background...

Bleecker Street in Greenwich Village...   - the 'El' train on 3rd Avenue

Bleecker Street with Van Dexter...
Did Steve McQueen live at 283,



Village People: Grover Van Dexter

At 283 Bleecker Street, a charming green awning once announced the name of an equally charming shop – Second Childhood, a local business dedicated to antique and unique toys for children of all ages. Owned by long time neighbour Grover Van Dexter, who preferred to be called simply “Van,” this Bleecker Street shop was the quintessential Village staple.


Grover Van Dexter, who owned Second Childhood (283 Bleecker Street, near Seventh Avenue), had collected antique toys for 30 years. His stock included a handmade wooden train, circa 1870; tin windup toys; dolls, and much more. Price are $1.50 to $2,250
Dexter was originally drawn to New York to pursue acting. He fell in with the Village theater scene, working with Martin Landau, Shelley Berman, and Jean Erdman on her award-winning “The Coach with Six Insides.” He even lived with Steve McQueen, who he met while working at Whelan’s pharmacy on Sixth Avenue and 8th Street. Dexter said McQueen, not yet famous, was a powerful personality who used the entire Bleecker Street apartment building as a rehearsal space – the stairwells, roof, and hallways. Apparently McQueen drove everyone in the building crazy, until those stairwell rehearsals paid off and he became a superstar.

At the New York Public Library, it states that a Van Dexter lived at 350 Bleecker Street whilst another source from the NYPL states Van Lived at 63 7th Avenue and W14Street...



Map of same block 7th between 14th -15th


Four storey. Second building on the right

"Naturally, there wasn't much stability in being an actor and Van Dexter had many side jobs. "I started working at the old Whelan's Drug store on Sixth Avenue and Eighth Street. One day some guy named Steve McQueen walked in. At that time I had a three-bedroom apartment around the corner (suggested as the RED POINTER in the above map - at 63 7th Avenue & W14St.)) and even though the rent was $105 I couldn't afford it. So Steve moved in and became my roommate. He was so poor he didn't have a pit to hiss in. One day when I came back from being on tour my landlord was furious because McQueen was upsetting the whole building. He used to rehearse all throughout the building, the roof, stairwells, anywhere. I had to kick him out but next thing I knew he was on some TV show called 'Wanted : Dead or Alive.'"



Whelans Drug Store is marked on the above map where Sixth Avenue meets W8 Street


Grover Van Dexter


{Credit: Marie Fotini}


Van worked at Whelan's Drug Store on the corner of Sixth Avenue and 8th Street. McQueen calls in to the store in the early 1950's and Van offers him a room in his apartment around the corner from where he works...350 & 283 Bleecker Street are not around the corner whilst 63 7th Avenue would!!
The following paragraph in the article suggests the apartment was not 283 Bleecker Street!!

Dexter fell in love with rare and unique toys after a 1960 tour had him travelling to cities all over America. He became an avid collector, and by 1969 his collection had outgrown his small Village apartment. With some nudging from his cramped roommate, Dexter capitalized on the inexpensive rents and vacant space lining much of Bleecker and surrounding Village streets. Rent was cheap ($150 for the storefront!), so passion projects like Dexter’s toy shop could flourish in the eccentric and eclectic neighborhood.


(Photo - Steven Otero)



Whelan' Drug Store on the corner of W8Street is now Liguiteria (1996)

396 6th Avenue


(Nedicks is now a store which is opposite Whelan's Drug Store)


{Credit: Marie Fotini}



TV Francis was in the Basement of 141 West 10th Street

{Credit: Marie Fotini}



The only thing I can remember was Steve used to deliver the TV sets that were repaired secured on the back rack of his motorcycle. Back in the 50's the sets were mostly table models so they weren't like the monsters of today.  The photo you have of west 10th street, you have the right building but that building had an east and west side Franks TV Service (Francis TV) was in the east half, your photo shows mostly the west half.  There were many show people that lived in the village and Steve was just starting out, I seem to remember Steve was working part time between the many jobs he applied for.  I hope this helped out a little, I'm sorry I don't have more information.
Bob -

{Lou Reed 1982}


Sheridan Square was near Louis Tavern where McQueen grabbed a 'free' meal on several occasions...

Steve McQueen visited 70, Grove Street where PANDORA BOX coffee house was located -

Reference 1 -

Reference 2 - click on the image below:


Photo: Rienzi coffee house (1952-1965), 107, MacDougal St., Greenwich Village, ca. 1950-1958



I lived at 11 Cornelia  Street. There was a gate that led to a building in the rear of the building on the street. I lived on the top floor of the building in back. Two flats on each floor. Mine was the one on the south side. All very small.

Directly across Cornelia street at that time was a small store front building which was usually a produce store. Then empty. I took it over and created an office for Competition Press, a racing newspaper that i was putting out at the time. After I sold it to Road & Track it travelled to California, then Nevada and later Detroit. It is now AutoWeek.

Steve was often at my office.

It no longer is there. The large building it was in had an entrance on 6th avenue around the corner. However sometime after I moved to Vermont  the owners of that apartment building remodelled and turned what had been my office into the entry of their building. Once on 6th ave, now on Cornelia.

Joes was on West 4th street one block toward Sheridan Square on the corner. The southeast corner. Don't know the address or what is there now. I met Steve in front of the luncheonette where he had his MG-TC parked and was showing someone a Herbert Johnson crash helmet friends had just sent to him from England. His TC was cream coloured. I had a red one at the time.

Steve was, in the next couple of weeks or months, set to go to LA to become Josh Randall on TV. His career was about to blossom into stardom.

Much of the rest of the story was in the piece I wrote for AutoWeek after Steve died.

Hope this helps.


{Northwest corner of 6th Avenue and 4th Street}


W.H.Auden lived at 7, Cornelia Street {1945-1953}

This "skip" is where McQueen would park his cream-coloured MG-TC car.










Steve McQueen met Neile, his future wife, in Upper Manhattan (W57th Street) and decided to move into her apartment at number 69 W55th Street) -  FBI document shows that he lived here in October 1957:
FbI document on Steve McQueen:

Source: Steve McQueen A TRIBUTE TO THE KING OF COOL by Marshall Terrill - page 48


The receipt below was signed when McQueen was in Hollywood. It shows where Steve McQueen's first agent lived in New York - bottom left hand corner and second line from the bottom clearly reads: Peter Witt 37 W57th Street...
Steve McQueen's agent lived at number 37 W57th Street- which has been demolished and replaced with a modern building. Interestingly, number 35 still stands today and is a reminder to what number 37 would have looked like back in the 1950's....very much, a jewel in the crown!!
Neile Adams performed at St.James Theatre in Pyjamas Games as a chorus dancer and went for meals at Downey's at 705 8th Avenue (at 44th Street), started in the late 1950's by an Irish immigrant who won big at the horse races one day and decided to open a restaurant. The restaurant was closed by the early 1980's, taken over by a Cajun restaurant, although Downey's sons opened steak houses in other parts of the city - now Nathan's.


Carnegie Hall 881, 7th Avenue, occupying the east stretch of Seventh Avenue between West 56th Street and West 57th Street, two blocks south of Central Park...Neile Adams danced here when living in 37 W57Street


Steve McQueen dated Janet Conway:

Girl friend: Janet Conway...met at Viola Essen's dance studio - 8th floor of Carnegie Hall. Steve McQueen was hired by Viola to teach drama classes

(Carnegie Deli closed 30th December 2016 - 854 7th Avenue)






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