Last Call: Elaine's Restaurant to Close Its Doors Tonight

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Elaine's, the famed Upper East Side eatery that became a mainstay for literatti, celebrities and the city's movers and shakers for nearly 50 years, will close its doors Thursday night.

The restaurant will close on May 26, said longtime manager Diane Becker, who inherited the restaurant from Elaine Kaufman, the larger-than-life proprietor, when she died in December.

"The truth is there is no Elaine's without Elaine," Becker said.

Bartender Alex Gregg said business took a plunge after Kaufman's death.

But since the eatery's closure was announced earlier this month, customers have packed the place and been taking menus, matches and whatever isn't nailed down to get a souvenir of the place that was once a haunt of Woody Allen, Norman Mailer and Jacqueline Onassis.

"She was loved by a lot of people, hated by some people too but loved by many," Gregg said of Kaufman, "but they're not returning I guess because she's not there."

With the Associated Press