With Pride upon us, Manatus has been on my mind, that long-time go-to spot for the LGBTQ communities, unceremoniously shuttered in April, possibly to make room for Calvin Klein. I went by and peeked in the window. Everything is gone. It's still a heartbreak.
Reader Lee Magill sends in this painful shot of the sign being scraped from the bricks last week:
From the few reports that came in, the final night at Manatus was a quiet one. They hadn't announced it, so only a handful of people knew about the closure.
Reader Elizabeth wrote in to say "negotiations with the landlord stalled" a few days before the beloved diner shuttered. "He wants $50,000 for the space. Long-time customers are bereft! Jimmy, the owner, and Eleni, longtime waitress turned manager, patiently took pictures with us and even shed some tears with us as well."
Reader Andy sent in a video of the quiet last moments, and described the final night:
"When my friend, Tina, and I walked in, there were people at four other tables. I think I can safely assume they were gay male pairings (not sure they were 'couples' in the romantic sense). It was rather empty.
I ordered a burger, but they were out of burger buns, so I had it on a roll. My friend Tina had the last slice of cheesecake. There was a woman there with a camera set up on a tripod, but we didn't ask who she was. She left before us. The waitress seemed quite ready to close it up. She was talkative, but didn't say much to shed light on the location's future.
An elderly slender trans woman with a Chanel necklace and delicate feathered hat made the final rounds, going from table to table. When she got to us, she told us about Calvin Klein, but I'm not sure what her source was. The rest of the conversation with her was about Tina wanting to move to San Francisco because New York City is 'dead' (which I don't agree with, btw)."
The Calvin Klein rumor came from me, supplied by a neighboring shopkeeper last summer. It has not been confirmed, but on the Gold Coast of Bleecker, it's completely possible.
Reader David went by after the closure and snapped a photo of the goodbye note on the door. It remains there today. But not for long.
Manatus to close?
Lunch at Manatus
Bleecker's Luxe Blitz