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

Thursday, May 26, 2011

wine bottles wine bottles (stephen_bolen/flickr)

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


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Comments [2]


My husband and I knew Elaine for thirty years and my late Mom was a friend of hers for forty years. Her death was like the passing of an era decades of life that connected and encompassed so many people, from the literary to actors to sports people etc.. Elaine was and will forever be hers, without her, the thread that was the establishment can never be the same. She loved the thrill the conversation the input the coming together of all she deemed worthy in her own monarchy. Her light was her ability to enjoy every moment that she spent doing what she loved best having this club that all wanted to be part of but few yet many will never know. The most important thing to remember about Elaine and tonight being the last night is she was Elaines. The name was synonymous with what she truly loved and lived a wonderful life with a long run in a tough town for a tough broad who showed many of us the same!

May. 26 2011 09:27 PM
d russo

It is a real shame that Elaine so full of personality and enthusiasm for the arts would have left her place to a manager Diane Becker who has neither soul or spirit! When Elaine passed and left the establishment to Becker she left a void for all those who looked to Elaine for that spunk that tough but yet soft spot for the zest for life. Becker has no soul nor spirit and really just took the money and ran! Yuck! She is no Elaine and why Elaine left it all to her instead of all those guys who devoted their souls to her, is a shame!

May. 26 2011 03:12 AM

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