Sunday, April 6, 2014

Manatus

VANISHING

Last summer, I shared the rumor that Manatus had lost its lease and would be closing, but this was never confirmed.



Just now, reader Michael wrote in: "Manatus is closing tonight, a village neighbor told me this, said the new asking rent was 50 thousand, so I called the restaurant and tonight is their last night - closing at midnight."

I immediately called the restaurant and they told me the same thing. They lost their lease. They close at midnight tonight.

This is a sad day for the Village. Manatus has been in business since the mid-1980s, catering to the local LGBT clientele, and it is the last affordable, down-to-earth place to eat in that hyper-gentrified plastic part of town. I had my last meal there a couple months ago and didn't know it.

If the original rumor is completely true, then a Calvin Klein store is taking Manatus' place.



Previously:
Manatus to close?
Lunch at Manatus
Bleecker Timeline
Bleecker's Luxe Blitz


28 comments:

peter said...

I rode passed there just now. It's disheartening to be in a neighborhood that has been so entwined in my own history and to see but a shell of it left. The streets are now filled with well kept people with nice skin and lots of bags from designer stores.

Sybil Bruncheon said...

I just left Manatus ten minutes ago.... I had been going there since it opened,(and had been a customer of the restaurants that had been there before back to the 60s!). There were times at Manatus when it was almost my home-away-from-home...I might eat breakfast and dinner there in one day, and I often went there after shows I'd do in the Village at different clubs...Its closing is heartbreaking, but at this point, we've lost so much of the Village, and the city in general, that I'm almost numb. And what do we say about a city that is erasing itself into one giant corporate anonymity??? Any entrepreneurial attempt is gone... the one-of-a-kind, the unique, the start-up is gone...Hail Mammon!

Walter said...

Wasn't that the legendary Jazz Club Bboomers at one time?

Anonymous said...

Like a punch to the stomach.

There is nothing left to say or do. We are powerless to stop these forces. The last ten years I kept telling myself that I will just focus and enjoy on the things I love that remain.

But I believe within a few more years NOTHING will remain.

None of these places are being replaced with anything useful, community enhancing or remotely interesting.

I have always vowed to die in nyc but why would I spend the rest of my days miserable surrounded by people I detest ?

I feel bad for the elderly and those without my relative youth and means to escape this unimaginable nightmare that the once mighty nyc has become.

Let me clear. I come from money, I have my own money and I do not resent success. And there has always been money here. BIG money. But they were interesting people and integrated into the city and loved the city with all its quirks and diversity.

This soulless, faceless upper middle class group of suburban social strivers offers absolutely nothing to this city beyond the tax base.

This city is done.

I will not waste my breath on it any longer.

Anonymous said...

So Sad , I used to love to go there when I Visit NYC. 50 k a month lease no wonder they are closing. Who the fuck charges that kind of money a month? Shame on the greedy landlord.Oh I forgot, It's all about the money. People don't matter anymore.

Anonymous said...

Wow this is really sad news. I loved the staff and food there. There is nothing unique about the Village anymore.

T Patrick Ryan said...

this bums me out so much This place has been open for decades. It didn't even have locks on the door. After 9/11 they had to have someone stay in the restaurant because there was no way of locking up One of my favorite places in the village to go for brunch The Village doesnt need a Calvin Klein store - it's needs places with history like Manatus

T Patrick Ryan said...

this bums me out so much This place has been open for decades. It didn't even have locks on the door. After 9/11 they had to have someone stay in the restaurant because there was no way of locking up One of my favorite places in the village to go for brunch The Village doesnt need a Calvin Klein store - it's needs places with history like Manatus

EK said...

The sadness really hits home with this one. I've been going to Manatus for a long time and it was such a homey place to catch up with friends. I've heard they might be opening in a smaller venue and I hope they do. We've lost a lot of diners in the village and it's a shame. Where do you do when you just want a burger and not a lamb burger with shallots and a root vegetable puree??

Gojira said...

I really wish our mayor would get over his obsession with pre-K and realize that there are other issues in the city that he needs to deal with - starting with pushing commercial rent regulation to Albany. No one has addressed this vital concern since Ruth Messinger in the 1990s; we're way overdue.

Chaz said...

i loved this place.
i've eaten there for 20 years.

sad day.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, I enjoyed hanging out there, but the food there was shit, and the staff there was rude...

James Edstrom said...

I agree, the food was bad, but it was a great place for drinks and to hang out and chat. It was part of the village. My old village is long gone, everytime I walk around, it is so sad to see the old shops gone, replaced with high end stores. Use to see the leather men, the bull dykes and thousands of people running around there during the daytime. Now the streets are just about empty during the day, most bars are closed and your entertainment is watching Sarah Jessica Parker walk her dogs. Sad....

Anonymous said...

The gay rich have destroyed Manhattan as much as the straight rich, so let's not get heterophobic here (like I've seen on other blogs). -MJ

Anonymous said...

Yes, Mr Edstrom. Parker, and dirtbags like the three Andrews Cohen, Humm, and Towle still desperately clinging to fantasies they're superior to guys from Queens and Brooklyn. -MJ

Moira said...

So sad. I've been going here since they first opened. My family has lived a block away since 1970 and I've seen the whole area devolve into what is now a wasteland of luxury pretension and cultural blandness. This loss is another nail in the coffin of the twitching corpse of my beloved city. NY is a ghost of a ghost of its former self-- haunting all those who remember it in it's prime.

Anonymous said...

Is anyone on this thread old enough to remember the "railroad car" style steel diner that once sat on the southwest corner of Christopher and Washington Streets back in the fifties? I have long since forgotten the name of it. It may have been a Fodero, Mountain View, Kullman or some such manufacture. If anyone has any information on this diner, please contact me at cbdcs4u@yahoo.com.

chicothedago said...

what can u do? this is true everywhere in the world - the only constant is change. the real travesty is what takes the place of the vanishing entity: always a fuckin chain or some BS super store like wal-fuckin-mart. i will not shop at these places! but who am i kidding - even if all of us made blood oaths to not shop at walmart - the majority of society obviously LOVES it. I moved out of the west village -macdougal alley - in 1983 i was 16. i lived in houston for 20 years and now ive been in central oregon for 10 years with my wife and family. when the super walmart opened in this mountain logging town, youd have thought elvis presley was doing a show. sickening. its a hard pill to swallow but it is what it is. balduccis was a bummer. yankee stadium is gone! Babe Ruth? whatever.....at least we can still keep the memories..

Anonymous said...

It's unfortunate, but also an indicator of the passage of time. It happens and there is nothing anyone can do. I recall when I moved here in 2000. NYC was such a different place then. I loved everything about it. Now, I walk around and feel like I am somewhere else. Bleecker street now feels like Rodeo Drive. And, its true. The only people affording the neighborhood are affluent and powerful celebrities. I am done with this city and this country. I moving to Sweden or Germany within the year.

Greg said...

This is what happens when you let straight people move in...many..many memories there that I will cherish forever...

Anonymous said...

Its not straight people. Its the type of straight people that are moving here.

Awful, bland, gluttonous, suburban consumers.

An utterly uninteresting scourge.

Anonymous said...

I formed two tears when I read about Manatus closing...like another nail in the coffin. I'm over 65 and spent my years going to the village and living on Leroy St. for a while I thought it was the end when the Cafe Cino closed and a few others..but what i see now makes me ill. I feel like I will soon lose my beloved Village Den...all the gay clubs we had, esp for women, gone...I'm in Brooklyn now and that's changing too...where can I go? Arkansas??
Fixed income....I'm feeling lost.

Anonymous said...

No, Greg. It was the gays in the 1970's and '80's Village who wasted all their time hating people from Brooklyn and Queens (remember the snotty term "Bridge and Tunnel people"?) while ignoring the real danger moving in : rich snotty out-of-towners (both gay and straight). -MJ

Anonymous said...

50K a month? He clearly wanted the restaurant out of that space.

Anonymous said...

very disheartening, I will miss it, last meal there was a few months ago. broiled flounder there was always fresh, it was very empty on a Sunday night...looked like a place heading for closure.

Anonymous said...

Used to order from there all the time despite the fact that about 50% of the time they couldn't get the order right.

Anonymous said...

Been going to Manatus for nearly 30 years and I live in London, my work brought me to Ny , sadly it's a Corporate world fuck the locals they don't care get the Dosh that's what counts . Hope someone has the balls to find a place to open a new Manatus in an area nearby .
London is no better and it's not going to change when money is more important than a local neighbourhood & community . Thanx for the memories Manatus ,Steve,London

Anonymous said...

Anonymous on April 9 questioned going to Arkansas. Please do! Eureka Springs would love your business.
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Johannes Eurekus