When the news hit on Thursday, it flew around the New York theatre community as quickly as the unexpected closing of a Broadway show.
The Cafe Edison on 47th Street is a fixture, one that opened in 1980, but seems as if it has been there much, much longer. From the moment people heard it was being evicted to make way for an upscale restaurant, mourning began (even though it will be around for another month or so), with theatre district denizens eulogizing it as one of the last vestiges of the “old” Times Square, more of a piece with Colony Records and Howard Johnson’s than American Eagle and the Build-a-Bear Workshop.
Others have written eloquent commemorations of a place not yet quite gone (Julie Klausner’s is startlingly similar to my own thoughts on both the restaurant and the announcement), so I won’t attempt to top any of them (I am on record in the New York Daily News). However, as some stalwarts organized before today’s matinee to rally against the decision by the owners of the space, which is part of the Edison Hotel, I felt the least I could do was to commemorate their demonstration of support.
If you’d like to sign a petition in support of the Cafe Edison, in hope of persuading the craven property owners to reverse their edict, click here for the official effort.