Today the legendary Caffe Reggio on MacDougal Street in Greenwich Village is celebrating 90 years of business out of the same storefront—a nearly unbelievable accomplishment (I mean, did you read that Bleecker Street piece in the Times earlier this year?!). In celebration of the feat, the shop is serving free coffee until 3 p.m. today (but we suggest splurging on their cappuccino). They will also be giving away "some collectible souvenirs," and serving up bottles of wine at half price.

The cafe opened in 1927, under the ownership of Domenico Parisi, and it hasn't really changed much since. When you visit, look for the circa-1902 espresso machine (which cost Parisi $1,000 when he opened—a small fortune), the ceiling fan (a prop from Casablanca!), and a bench from a Palazzo "of the mighty Florentine Medici family of Renaissance fame," which is over 500 years old.

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MacDougal Street from West 3rd Street, looking south. Photo undated. (Courtesy of the NYPL)

Caffe Reggio is a treasured establishment on MacDougal Street these days, but it too was once a newcomer to the historic stretch. In 1925—just two years before Parisi set up shop—one newspaper clipping warned of modern structures taking over historic ones: "Another ancient and picturesque bit of Greenwich Village real estate will soon disappear," the article declared; it was about the destruction of the old Garden Row houses, just about two blocks from the cafe.