Reporting Peter Haskell
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – Famed Manhattan eatery Elaine’s will have its last call on Thursday as regulars gather one last time before the decades-old restaurant closes its doors for good.
Regulars are still mourning the death of Elaine Kaufman, owner of the storied New York City restaurant, who died back in December.
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Before the doors are locked Thursday, regulars planned to meet at the place where they ate average food while rubbing shoulders with stars like Michael Caine and Woody Allen.
Elaine’s was synonymous with plugged-in New York for the better part of five decades.
“And they were all impressed with your Halston dress and the people that you knew at Elaine’s,” Billy Joel sang. The restaurant inspired books titled “Everyone Comes to Elaine’s” and “Last Call at Elaine’s.”
For the regulars, Elaine’s was more than a scene, it was a family.
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Kaufman died at 81 after running Elaine’s for 48 years. Longtime manager Diane Becker inherited the restaurant after Kaufman’s death, but says the place couldn’t survive without the woman who was its driving force.
Becker announced on May 17 that the Second Avenue eatery would be closed for good on May 26.
The neighborhood is feeling the loss.
“It’s a bit of a tragedy,” one local resident said. “It’s another changing face of New York that’s not necessarily positive.”
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