Friday, June 15th, 2012

The 'Louie' Map of New York

As a New Yorker, a fun part of watching New York-based shows such as Seinfeld and Friends is to see shots of the actual city in between scenes shot on an L.A. soundstage. With Louie, whose third season debuts on June 28th on FX, being almost entirely shot in New York, we get that experience in almost every scene. Below are some locations around the city that were used in the show’s first two seasons.

View 'Louie' in New York in a larger map

West 4th St Subway
West 3rd St & Sixth Ave
Seen in: Opening Credits
One of the cool things about the Louie opening is that while it may not be the most exciting, it is extremely accurate. As we see Louis CK walk over to do a spot at the Comedy Cellar, he is taking the actual if not most adventurous route. It all starts with the West 4th street subway.

Ben’s Pizzeria
123 Macdougal St (on corner of W. 3rd)
Seen in: Opening Credits, Season 1’s Pilot
The opening is accurate not just because of Louie’s path to the Cellar, but also because he fuels up at Ben’s Pizzeria. Long a stopover for Village bar patrons after a long night of drinking, Ben’s is a great place to grab a slice.

Comedy Cellar
117 Macdougal St
Seen in: Opening Credits, Several Episodes
Opened in 1982, the Comedy Cellar follows a showcase as opposed to headlining format. Instead of having an opener, middle act, and headliner like most clubs, the Cellar will have about five or six acts per show, each doing around 20 minutes. The club’s lineup changes daily and everyone from Jerry Seinfeld to Chris Rock are known to pop in while trying out new material. In fact, much of Seinfeld’s 2002 documentary Comedian is set here.

Caroline’s on Broadway
1626 Broadway
Seen In: Several Episodes
Starting out as a cabaret club in Chelsea in 1981, Caroline’s has grown into one of the most well known comedy clubs in the country. Highlights for the venue include having its own TV series and hosting the last shows of both Bill Hicks and Mitch Hedberg.

Olive Tree Cafe
117 Macdougal St
Seen In: Several Episodes
Most prominently featured in the episode where Louie sends Nick DiPaolo to the emergency room, the Olive Tree not only shares the same address as the Comedy Cellar (its upstairs), it also shares the same staff, kitchen, and menu. As seen in Louie and Comedian and heard about on The Opie and Anthony Show, comics from Jim Norton to Todd Barry can be seen telling stories and busting balls at a nearby table.

Staten Island Ferry
4 South St and Whitehall St
Seen In: Season 1’s Bully
After being humiliated in front of a date by a teenage bully, Louie wisely follows him home to confront his parents… in Staten Island. To do so, Louie must take the Staten Island Ferry, which has been featured in several movies, including Wall Street, The Groomsmen, and Basketball Diaries. But what makes the ferry arguably the best mode of public transportation in NYC are the exquisite views, you can drink on it, and oh yeah, the ride is free.

James J. Walker Park
Hudson St Between Clarkson and Leroy
Seen In: Season 1’s Dogpound and Gym.
James J. Walker Park is just one of the many locations where co-star Pamela Adlon (also the show’s consulting producer) has turned down Louie’s advances. It is also home to a playground, athletic field, and handball courts. All of that however pales in comparison to the park’s best feature: it is located directly across the street from the address used for the exterior of The Cosby Show house (10 St. Luke’s Place).

Washington Square Park
Fifth Ave
Seen In: Season 1’s Night Out
In the Season 1 finale, Louie has a date that implodes in the famously bohemian Washington Square Park. Whether your thing is folk music, protesting, magic, chess, or illegal substances (not recommended) you can find it here.

Don Hill’s
511 Greenwich St
Seen In: Season 1’s Night Out
Though used as a swanky, bottle service-type of club where Louie is a fish out of water, in its hey-day Don Hill’s was known to be a place for hip dance parties and cutting edge live music. The club’s namesake was a big part of  the NYC music scene for years, especially in the 80s with his East Village haunt, The Cat Club. When Hill died in 2011, the club wasn’t far behind, closing just a month later.

Eastville Comedy Club
85 East 4th St
Seen In: Season 1’s Night Out
After a less-than-successful night of clubbing, Louie finds he is most comfortable when he’s being a dad and when he’s being a comedian. For the comedian part, Louie does an impromptu set at the Eastville Comedy Club, located in the East Village. This 125-plus seat club hosts performances from top comics including Amy Schumer and Judah Friedlander, as well as many other up-and-coming acts from all over the city. It also has open mics every weekday at 6pm (but make sure you get there early to sign up).

144 2nd Ave (corner of 9th st)
Seen In: Season 1’s Night Out
For the dad part, Louie takes his daughters out for a nice breakfast… at 4 AM. The venue? The East Village’s Veselka, a legendary 24/7 Ukrainian joint in operation since 1959. Frequented by everyone from Jon Stewart to Ryan Adams, the restaurant has long been considered an artists haven (it even has the distinction of being the inspiration of not one but two songs). Menu must-haves: pierogies and borscht.

High Line
Gansevoort St to 30th st.
Seen In: Season 2’s Bummer/Blueberries
After witnessing and being kinda/sorta involved in the beheading of a deranged homeless person, Louis has an epiphany while out on a pseudo-date at the High Line. Built from the old West Side Line elevated railroad tracks, this one-mile park features 210 species of plants and never-before-seen views of the city and Hudson River.

Hudson Diner
468 Hudson St
Seen In: Season 2’s Moving
Being the location where Todd Barry pitched a television show featuring Louie’s mom in a tub of diarrhea and homeless people, the Hudson Diner had to make this list. It’s also a great breakfast dive that has a decent brunch.

105 Eldridge St
Seen In: Season 2’s Niece
In town on a visit, Louie’s quiet niece Amy wants him to take her to an indie rock club. They settle on Fontana’s, a wise choice. This Lower East Side dive bar is known for its live music, DJ sets, “Punk Rock Heavy Metal Karaoke,” and as a side-effect, hipsters.

Greg DeLucia is a Hoboken-based writer and comedian who spends much of his day defending New Jersey. He enjoys tweeting and writing about his unhealthy obsession with "90210."

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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tim-Heck/1610786414 Tim Heck

    I need to get into Louie, saw a bit on HBO back in the early aughts

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=640685758 Andrew Breslow

    that show was awful in comparison to the one currently on FX

  • http://teabyrd.tumblr.com Thomas


  • thehipp

    Cafe Loup on W. 13th is the place he leaves with his date before getting bullied by high school kids in the donut place.

    • http://twitter.com/DeLucianal Greg DeLucia

      I was trying to find out which spot that was!

    • GM

      Do you know what the donut place is called?

      • t-rex

        pretty sure it's The Donut Pub on 14th b/w 7th and 8th

  • http://twitter.com/megh_wright Megh Wright

    They shot a scene in Park Slope a few months back at the Community Bookstore on 7th Ave, so we'll get some Brooklyn action this season too. I waited outside the bookstore to see if he'd come out so I could meet him, but I ended up leaving after 10 minutes or so because I felt like an idiot.

  • GM

    Nice list, I was wondering if I got the right subway stop when I visited NY last year.  Here I've added it into a 4sq list https://foursquare.com/gmilroy/list/as-seen-on-louis-ck

  • http://twitter.com/charlesv Charles Vestal

    His apartment was in the Veridian in Greenpoint for a while (Season 1), and they shot some 'alley' scenes just up against the brick building across the street. Given the shooting I've seen going on so far, I think we can add Mrs. Kim's in greenpoint and Gleason's Gym in DUMBO.

  • adam119

    I saw them filming by my office in Dumbo a few weeks back, so there's a good chance there will be a scene filmed in front of Gleasons Gym / Bo Concept on Front between Washington and Main in Season 3

  • thehipp

    The scenic intersection where two cabbies fight each other is Greenwich and Vandam. Talk about iconic.

  • http://twitter.com/Michael_Schiavo Michael Schiavo

    Kielbasa and blintzes at Veselka. C'mon.

  • Pretty Tan The Devil

    This is teh Devil, out here in skid row, los angeles. i was wondering is someone trying to offend me or frustrate me. i want to ask everyone for protectionof my boys and girls club with the children name tag to avoid the end of all creation and the blessing of death forever in the valley. learned a lot about life and understanding alot about the human problem left ot in society upside down on a cross all of those years. i would lliek to knwo exactly where to go to sell scripts even for college students. you know i am contractual.

  • Yael

    this was a pleasure :D thank you

  • Gary Lambert

    See, I can't completely buy this:

    "One of the cool things about the Louie opening is that while it may not be the most exciting, it is extremely accurate. As we see Louis CK walk over to do a spot at the Comedy Cellar, he is taking the actual if not most adventurous route. It all starts with the West 4th street subway.

    "The opening is accurate not just because of Louie’s path to the Cellar, but also because he fuels up at Ben’s Pizzeria. Long a stopover for Village bar patrons after a long night of drinking, Ben’s is a great place to grab a slice."

    My problem with the opening stems from this: Yes, Louie does emerge from the West 4th Street station. But the exit he comes out of is on the WEST side of 6th Avenue at 3rd Street. That means he's across the avenue from where he needs to be to enter the Comedy Cellar (on MacDougal, between 3rd St and Minetta Lane). Still, this would be perfectly explainable, because there's an excellent reason to use that particular exit rather than coming up on the east side of the ave – to walk just a few doors down to Joe's Pizza (http://www.joespizzanyc.com/), purveyor of arguably the best slices on the Isle o' Manhattan. But no… he exited the station on the wrong side, then crossed the avenue and got a slice at the adequate but mediocre Ben's at 3rd and MacDougal. I just… don't…understand.

    It's a good thing the ensuing 22 minutes of Louie's show are so good, or I might never recover from that title sequence.