The restaurant's success (it had middling food) was due to it's owner Elaine Kaufman, who ran the place like a tough-but-beloved mother. In the early days, she would let writers come in and eat, and if they couldn't pay, she'd take a risk and let them skip the bill. It paid off big-time when those same young regulars turned into literary stars like David Halberstam, Thomas Wolfe, and the dude who wrote Forrest Gump. She recently passed away and the restaurant is closing next week. A real great piece of New York History, or any history for that matter, here.
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
"An Ode (Sort Of) on the Demise of Elaine's" by John Mariani - Esquire.com
So this bar/restaurant named Elaine's on the Upper East Side was basically everything any like downtown, try-to-be-cool club/lounge in New York could ever try to be. It really set the bar, no pun intended. In his prime, Woody Allen ate dinner there every night for ten years. That's what he claims anyway, but I call bullshit because that's impossible.