Thursday, June 5, 2008

Chez Brigitte Vanishes

Moments ago I discovered the terrible news that Chez Brigitte, after just celebrating its 50th anniversary, is shuttering tonight at 5:00.



Too early for lunch, too late for dinner, I won't have a last meal there, but got a cup of coffee and talked a bit with chef Raphael who was busy cooking peas and yellow rice, and turning chicken in a sizzling pan. The lease is up, he told me, and the rent has doubled.



A woman peered in and asked, in a shocked voice, "You're closing?" Yes. "Another one? It's happening all over," she cried, "I'm trying to save Coney Island. Now this!" She walked away, then came back to add, "I am so angry."

Me too.

It seems every time I post the story of a survivor, they soon go under.

15 comments:

bakerina said...

Tonight? They're closing tonight? Goddammit.

I am stunned well beyond speech -- but not beyond sadness. I am so sad about this. Angry, too, right along with you, Jeremiah.

Anonymous said...

I can never forget sitting at Brigitte's counter, dining and watching the activity at St.Vincent's on the evening of 9/11. Who could have imagined that the city with its greed would become so destructive. So what will replace Brigitte? A bank? A latte lounge? A 99$ Store? This is one of the saddest postings I've read on JVNY.

NYC Cat said...

This -- and all the other closings -- is just sad. Your blog is amazing, and thank goodness someone is taking the time to chronicle what was -- and what little remains -- of the true NYC. Thanks so much for taking the time. Another closing you may wish to know of, is, El Sabor. The China-Latina joints are also falling prey to greed, yuppies and so-called gentrification. The irony is, nowadays, everyone and their grandmother is in culinary school. But, I sensed something long ago, when Orange Julius (near 48th St & Guitar Row) and Lutece closed, as well as Woolworth's, Chock Full 'O Nuts, Nedick's and similiar Breyer's luncheonettes and restaurants. It started with the luncheonettes, then the diners, then true Euro-cuisine, then Mex-Cali joints, pizza joints, Chinatown and it's just on and on and on. Anything hardcore ethnic (Euro or otherwise) is now supplanted by theme restaurants; which ape not only the real deal, but how simian Urban Development truly is. Was't sure where to post this, so pardon in advance if this is not the right page. Thanks again.

BaHa said...

This is truly crushing. There's going to be nothing left of New York within a couple of years. Damn it, I am angry.

christena said...

Bummer. Tonight At 5pm? I think I can make it for lunch. Sorry, but I really don't know what else to say.

JabberJaw said...

Another day, another slice of the community dies. Though I was never around for Brigitte, I will always remember that lunch bar, that ancient stove with a stock pot bubbling away, the Latin crew, and the best cheese omelette on earth.

Thanks for documenting the atrocities.

Mike said...

I am shell-shocked. It isn't the actresses of a certain TV show turned movie you should string up. It should be the greedy, vulturous people who double rents in hope of kicking out institutions. I've had anniversary dinners at Chez Brigitte for God's sake. Another blow to a once-great city.

Anonymous said...

Has the Times, Post, Daily News, Voice, New York covered this latest casualty of insatiable greed? I doubt it. In the future, when someone asks "what happened", forgive my appropriating the latest CYA memoir, your blog will be the only record of how bit by bit, a city was destroyed. Readers, old and new, will weep as they read a diary of despair.

Steph said...

NOOOOoooo! I started a new job and couldn't do my daily check of this blog. I have been walking by this place thinking how I can't believe it's still there, how much I love the food and how nice the people are and now it's gone. Ugh, this is beyond depressing.

Jeremiah Moss said...

did anybody make it over there for a final meal?

Anonymous said...

Shit I never made it there!! I wanted to after your previous anniversary posting. Move fast, people, Jeremiah seems to be the harbinger of fatal restaurant reviews! - BN

Anonymous said...

wow. shit. this one hurt. this one really hurt.
too sad for words.

Anonymous said...

I can't say anything beyond what's been said here, apart from adding my own sadness and anger to the systematic rape of every shred of character and personality in this city. I simply don't understand why. Like Obama says " we need change we can believe in". I'm completely unable to relate to NYC anymore. If only I could buy one of those t-shirts I saw by an artist " I miss (heart) NY". I'd wear it proudly.

Anonymous said...

That was me who walked in, Jeremiah! What a very small world. I am angry. Ever since the day O Mistress Mine on 7th Ave So near 10th St was closing. I began trying to think of stores and restaurants that were here in the Village when I got my first NYC apt in 1976. I really have to rack my brain to come up with a handful. Old New York is going, going , gone.
But we are not going to let the city rezone our Coney Island into a shopping mall and luxury high rises without a fight! Please visit http://www.coneyisland.com/cgi-bin/yabb/YaBB.cgi?board=news
to read the flyer--What can I do to Save Coney? tricia

Jeremiah Moss said...

tricia, how cool that was you! i wondered if i wrote about the "angry lady" she might read about it here. glad you're around and fighting for coney.