Todd in Hell's Kitchen tipped us to Michael Musto's report that the Film Center Cafe has closed--it's been here since 1933. Musto writes, "it's kaput... The sign outside thanks patrons for their years of support and urges them to go to the other eateries in the chain."
The cafe's Facebook page, as of August 7, says they're closed for renovations and will reopen in the fall.
I could not get a confirmation from the cafe owners and their telephone didn't answer--no "disconnected" message, no voice mail, it just rings and rings. The website remains up. But a call to their sister restaurant, Cara Mia, confirmed: "They're closed for good." So what happened between renovation plans on August 7 and closing for good? 78 years is a long time to survive and then just suddenly vanish.
Now this has me worried about the whole block.
Ninth Avenue between 44th and 45th has long been a haven of old New York in the shitstorm of the new. This block is also home to the Poseidon Bakery (since 1923), Rudy's Bar & Grill (since 1933), and Piccinini Brothers meats (since 1922). Combined with the Film Center Cafe's 78 years, that makes at least 333 years of small business history all together on one block.
Too often, when one falls, more follow, like teenagers during a suburban suicide cluster. Is it time for a death watch?