Great Good Places by John Tebeau
Brooklyn artist John Tebeau loves places — and so do a lot of other people.
Tebeau introduced his Great Good Places art series in fall 2013, showing silkscreens of six excellent Brooklyn bars. People responded enthusiastically, some buying pieces for far away friends who missed their favorite hangout, others to celebrate their own local. Since then, Tebeau has been working to build on those initial six, adding great bars of Manhattan as well as New Orleans.
Tebeau will show an expanded selection of Great Good Places art in May at the recently reopened Long Island Bar — one of the new bars depicted. The opening party will run 5:30-7:30 p.m. May 10, with drink specials featuring gins from sponsor New York Distilling Company.
Besides the Long Island, Tebeau’s May show will premiere artwork celebrating Manhattan legends McSorley’s, Chumley’s and Ear Inn. He will also show his first Brooklyn pieces, Fort Defiance, Sunny’s, Brooklyn Inn, Bar Great Harry, The Gate and Mugs Alehouse.
Henry James first published a short story called “The Great Good Place” in Scribner’s Magazine in 1900. Then in 1989 Ray Oldenburg published a book titled, “The Great Good Place: Cafes, Coffee Shops, Bookstores, Bars, Hair Salons, and Other Hangouts at the Heart of a Community.”
Tebeau’s Great Good Places are bars that are conducive to conversation, comfortable whether you’re with friends or reading a book, and that have welcoming bartenders. Many are New York institutions connecting drinkers to a bygone era.
Tebeau drew each of the six taverns, then prepared them for silkscreen printing in Brooklyn. The 16 by 20 inch images feature two colors to highlight features of the bar exteriors, with much of the design remaining black and white. The pieces are hand printed on 100 percent cotton fiber, acid-free Stonehenge paper, each signed and numbered.
Tebeau learned to screen print in his 20s in Chicago, where he designed and printed T-shirts. After moving to Brooklyn, he refreshed those skills with a class at Gowanus Print Lab.Tebeau is a fan of bold lines, strong design and vibrant colors. He taught himself how to draw in elementary school, and started painting later, melding cartoon sensibilities with an appreciation for art that shows wit and dash.
The Long Island Bar & Restaurant was owned and run for over 50 years by Emma Sullivan, her husband Buddy, and her cousins Pepita and Maruja. Buddy and Emma took over the bar from Emma’s father, Ramon Montero, who opened it in 1951. Emma and her cousins still live a block from the bar, and four generations of their family are based in the bar’s surrounding neighborhoods.
Joel Tompkins and Toby Cecchini restored and re-opened the bar in 2013. Cecchini owned the Manhattan bar Passerby. He is also the author of “Cosmopolitan: A Bartender’s Life” and a columnist for The New YorkTimes’ T Magazine. Tompkins co-founded the underground restaurant Coach Peaches.
110 Atlantic Avenue at the corner of Henry Street in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn. Take the 2/3 or 4/5 to Borough Hall or the F and G to Bergen Street.
Saturday, May 10, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Free, with drink specials sponsored by New York Distilling Company
John Tebeau: http://tebeau.com/
Long Island Bar: http://thelongislandbar.com
New York Distilling Company: http://nydistilling.com/