Hotel Griffou is the chic West Village restaurant conceived by New York restaurant veterans Larry Poston and Johnny Swet, together with Jonathan Hettinger and Jesse Keyes. Hotel Griffou has captured the bohemian, creative, stylish atmosphere for which downtown New York is known. The restaurant gets its name from the 1870's boarding house located in the same building and originally presided over by Madame Marie Griffou, a big-hearted French woman with a soft spot for creative types. Although it is no longer a hotel, Hotel Griffou retains a certain magic from its early days. The space itself was a focal point for artists, writers, and actors, who converged to discuss ideas, create, and of course, to be seen. It was one of the first places the early suffragettes met, and
Mae West stopped by for a celebratory drink after her trial on indecency charges. A sampling of the writers that frequented Hotel Griffou includes Edna St Vincent Millay, Ida Tarbell and Mark Twain. Jackson Pollack's studio was located a block away and he was also known to visit Hotel Griffou's successors, Hotel Europa and the famous Penguin Club, the latter attracting a who's who of 1960's glitterati. In 1980, the bon vivant tradition of 21 West 9th St. continued with Marylou's, scene of a rather notorious after hours. Today Hotel Griffou brings in international as well hometown guests, to dine and drink with the best New York City has to offer.