A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from July 01, 2013
Little Britain (West Village)

Greenwich Avenue, between 12th and 13th Streets in the West Village of Manhattan, is unofficially called “Little Britain.” The teashop Tea & Sympathy, at 108 Greenwich Avenue, is one of several British-themed businesses in the area. Tea & Sympathy’s Nicky Perry proposed “Little Britain Boulevard” in 2007, but the community board voted against the proposal.

Despite a lack of formal recognition from New York City government, the area is informally known as “Little Britain.”


Daily News (New York, NY)
‘Little Britain’ grows in W. Village
Tuesday, March 20, 2007, 4:00 AM.
A little bit of Britain is about to arrive in the Big Apple.

Stores and businesses in the West Village have banded together to get their neighborhood around Greenwich Ave. officially renamed “Little Britain” - putting it in the same category as other famous ethnic enclaves such as Chinatown, Little Italy and Spanish Harlem.

The area is already packed with British hangouts: Tea and Sympathy, Myers of Keswick, and A Salt and Battery, all popular with ex-pats wanting a taste of home.

Organizers - who hope to get the block between 12th and 13th Sts. publicly recognized as the heart of New York’s British community - plan to launch a campaign tomorrow with a tea party.

New York (NY) Sun
Committee Rules No Britannia for West Village Street
By GARY SHAPIRO, Staff Reporter of the Sun | July 11, 2007
British poet Rupert Brooke once designated a corner of a foreign field as “forever England,” but after a heated discussion last night, the traffic and transportation committee of Community Board 2 unanimously voted not to recommend co-naming a portion of Greenwich Avenue in the West Village “Little Britain.

NBC (New York, NY)
The British Are Coming (To Greenwich Village)
By John Capone
Tuesday, Jan 20, 2009 | Updated 7:15 AM EDT
Tea & Sympathy, a Greenwich Village staple for “anything British” has launched The Campaign for Little Britain in the Big Apple. Owner Nicky Perry has partnered from Virgin Atlantic Airlines, which transports nearly a half million passengers between New York and the mother country each year. The campaign, which plans to present a petition to Mayor “Bloomy” on May 2, argues that officially recognizing the vicinity of Greenwich Avenue and West 12th as Little Britain will increase tourism and benefit local businesses (like hers, of course). The block, which is also home to A Salt & Battery, a fish and chips restaurant where anglophiles brave all kinds of weather to eat fish and chips out of paper baskets, has, since the turn of the century (last century) had a reputation for a place where “young fellows with bristly brown mustaches” and visiting Britons hobnob over half and half and try to forget they are on “alien soil.”

Tea & Sympathy
Once upon a time in Little Britain…
Posted on August 15, 2011 by Tea & Sympathy
Have we ever told you the story of Little Britain? No? Well, if you’re sitting comfortably, let us begin… It all began a long time ago (1989, to be precise). Back then Greenwich Village was something of a wilderness, packed with the interesting characters and vibrancy that we’ve grown to love but lacking in a certain something. That something was a bit of sanctuary; a bit of – dare we say it – English refinement. Armed with nothing but a teapot and a vision, Nicky Perry worked tirelessly to bring her tea-making skills from the floor of the London Stock Exchange to the Village.
(...)
Unrelenting in her quest to carve a piece of home in the West Village, Nicky and her husband Sean, launched a campaign to rename the area ‘Little Britain’. Very soon, the cream of Blighty’s crop was on board, and none other than Richard Branson very kindly endorsed the effort. With his backing, and that of many other supporters, the campaign was able to produce this shiny video:
(...)
Although ultimately unsuccessful, city Commissioner Brian Andersson was very kind to gift us this mocked-up street sign to commemorate the campaign.

While for the time being the sign remains in our window and the maps don’t yet read ‘Little Britain’, we feel it represents the contribution of the British community in making this a truly special corner of NYC.

Gothamist
Time To Cede Greenwich Avenue To The Brits?
By Garth Johnston in Food on February 7, 2012 11:00 AM
Back in 2007 Virgin Atlantic and the teashop Tea & Sympathy lobbied unsuccessfully (and somewhat tongue-in-cheek) to have Greenwich Avenue in the West Village renamed “Little Britain.” As we said, it was unsuccessful. But something funny happened in the five years since. The area, which already had a few Anglo-friendly spots, went and got more British. Maybe it’s time to dust off the old moniker?

Metro (New York, NY)
Published: July 25, 2012
A trip to New York’s Little Britain Boulevard
By REBECCA FINKEL
Chinatown, Curry Hill, Little Manilla…New York is host to a slew of ethnic food enclaves, some more well-known than others. Among the lesser-known is a cozy corner of the West Village known, unofficially, as “Little Britain Boulevard.” Nicky Perry, the unofficial neighborhood’s official mayor, shows me the street sign that a civic insider made for her after an unsuccessful proposal to formally rename this strip of Greenwich Street just west of 7th Avenue.

I met Perry on an appropriately drizzly day at Tea & Sympathy, one of the three businesses she owns on the Boulevard. “It was my obsession,” Perry tells me over a pot of tea and a plate of soft, featherlight English scones (the English call ours “rock buns”). She opened Tea & Sympathy 22 years ago after moving to New York and discovering that “there was no place to get tea.”

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityNeighborhoods • Monday, July 01, 2013 • Permalink