IWalked New York City’s The Grapevine
On the southeast corner of Sixth Avenue and West 11th Street there used to exist a three-story clapboard building that dated back to the 18th century. This building was originally erected as a private residence, however, later transpired into a popular social club and tavern known as The Old Grapevine. The tavern received its moniker from an actual grapevine that graced its exterior walls.
The Old Grapevine was a popular destination for artists in the Village who stopped in to always catch the latest gossip. The locale became so trendy for hearing the latest news that people would be overheard commenting that “I heard it through the Grapevine.”
The expression made its way through popular culture when it was first made into a song written by Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong in 1966 for Motown Records. The song was first recorded by Smokey Robinson & the Miracles and subsequently released by Gladys Knight & the Pips (1967), Marvin Gaye (1968) and Creedence Clearwater Revival (1970).
As to the Old Grapevine Tavern, it lost its trademark vine in 1883 and the building was later demolished in 1915. Today, the French Roast coffee shop resides on the former site of the Old Grapevine. Somehow, it just doesn’t have the same ring to it though. “I heard it through the French Roast?”
Address: Intersection of 6th Avenue and W 11th Street, New York City
IWalked Audio Tours To See This Site: None Currently