Monday, June 17, 2024

Elaine’s, the Famous Eatery, Will Close After 47 Years


I am sad to report that Elaine’s will close next Thursday after 47 years. Diane Becker, the manager who inherited the restaurant from my dear friend, Elaine Kaufman, called to give me the news this afternoon. Facing a long summer, Diane felt that she couldn’t make it without Elaine sitting in the dining room, greeting guests and friends every night. The closing will be a blow to the regulars, to the past customers, to the neighborhood on the way upper East Side. But restaurants so identified with their owners never survive for long without them. Toots Shor’s is a case in point. The ’21 Club’ goes on, but no one is really identified with it anymore. For the next week, Elaine’s will be like another sitting shivah– Elaine died on December 3rd. In three weeks, I will celebrate my own birthday for the first time in fifteen years somewhere else. Elaine’s now becomes an official part of New York history and lore, never ever to be forgotten.

PS A memorial service for Elaine was being planned and still is for late June. Details to come.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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