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  1. #1

    Memorabilia from former Motown Cafe in New York City

    I was reading some historical information lately and came across a booklet on the former Motown Cafe in New York City which unfortunately closed. I have several questions maybe someone knows the answers.

    1. The Motown Cafe contained the biggest record in the world. The disc is 27 feet across and is set spinning from the ceiling. What disposition was made of this unique item?

    2. There were 2 gold statues as you enter the Cafe: one for Stevie Wonder and one for Marvin Gaye. Where are they now?

    3. There were various pictures and slides of various Motown acts along with walls decorated with various framed Motown albums. What became of them?

    4. In the basement there were posters of Motown acts advertised to perform at various halls and theatres. Were they destroyed?

    5. Above the main dining room aka The Roostertail Lounge was a giant 45 Motown Records - The Supremes - Stop In The Name of Love. Whereabouts?

    6. In the back corner of the Twenty Grand Lounge main dining area was a statue of Martha Reeves backed by a cardboard Vandellas display. Where did it end up at?

    7. There was also class Motown clothes in locked glass cabinets. Reportedly these were donated to the Cafe. Some of the clothes mentioned were from Diana Ross, Temptations, Martha Reeves, Boys 2 Men, , a white suit of Paul Williams, and an outfit from Gladys Knight & the Pips.

    8. The Daily News reported in it's 9/8/1995 story that menus come in five different varieties each modeled after a different Motown album. I have the one I acquired when I went there about a year after it opened. A friend got me one from the Las Vegas Motown Cafe and this was virtually identical to the New York one. Does anyone have all five of these album/menus?

    Hopefully some responses to this might shed some light into what became of all this great memorabilia. Thanks for your input.

  2. #2
    I use to go there all the time. I don't know where any of that stuff is now. I miss the sampler platter though LOL!!!

  3. #3
    When I went there in '98 I had a Marvelettes burger of course

  4. #4
    Some friends of mine visited the NY Motown Cafe and I seem to recall a large staircase made of gold 45s. That must have been something to deconstruct. They also sent me a picture of one (or more?) of the green swirl TCB dresses that were on display. Mary obviously got those back.

    Over the years I've been able to find two pilsner glasses, one from Orlando and one from New York. They both have microphone art on them with the Motown Cafe logo, although the New York one is multicolor and the Orlando one is simply blue.

  5. #5
    When did it open? When I went back to NYC in '99 it had closed!

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by copley View Post
    When did it open? When I went back to NYC in '99 it had closed!

    It opened in 1995.

  7. #7
    Thanks Marv. Do you know when it closed?

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by copley View Post
    Thanks Marv. Do you know when it closed?
    I can't remember exactly but it was not around too long after the turn of the century. Like most real estate in Manhattan. The lease amount went up a huge amount so it was converted to office space.

  9. #9
    Ah so it was possibly '99 as it was there in Sept '98 but gone in Sept '99 when I went back.


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Ralph Terrana

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