ELAINE’S / CLOSED
1703 2nd Avenue.
During its final week in business, Miss and I decided to enjoy a couple of drinks at the bar of this august establishment. It was our first time inside. Like most of the people with us that evening, we had come in because the New York Times had just reported that after almost fifty years in business Elaine’s would be closing due to “financial reality”. Apparently the cost of doing business had become too high. In light of this, I was all the more shocked that the bill for our drinks totaled $56. A place that gets $14 for cramming a bit of Jameson with ginger ale, ice cubes, straw and a lemon wedge into what appeared to be an eight ounce highball glass, but nevertheless must close due to “financial reality”, is doing something very wrong, I thought.
Still, we were sad to see the neighborhood losing such a famous spot. Since Miss had moved here, we had yet to find many places worth going back to, let alone telling anyone about, and here was one that was at least interesting. Elaine’s was old New York, and looked it, and despite the stiff drink prices, we might have come back.
The irony is that this old fashioned, old New York restaurant, survived for so long through so many decades, only to close at the very moment looking authentically old fashioned, and old New York, was all the rage.