Simón Bakery in Harlem
Like the LaSalle cafeteria, Simón, a Spanish Harlem (El Barrio) bakery at 116th Street and Lenox Avenue, served as a hangout for jazz musicians. It was a place where they went to pick up gigs. Native New Yorker and jazz percussionist Steve Berríos Jr. (1945 – 2013) recalls going there as a child with his father who was also a jazz percussionist. He describes it as a good neighborhood bakery in El Barrio that catered to a diverse clientele of Spanish and non-Spanish speakers. The owner of the bakery had been Cuban and apparently either made or had access to terrific sets of Congo drums that he sold out of the business in addition to donuts and cookies. The bakery’s close proximity to famous jazz clubs such as Lenox Rendezvous at 110th Street and Lenox Avenue also explains why it became a hangout for jazz musician. The Lenox Rendezvous also served as a place to hang out and pick up work for jazz artist.