Friday, November 7, 2014

Cafe Edison Lunch Mob: Sat Noon

Yesterday morning, I broke the news that the Cafe Edison is about to vanish. The Edison Hotel is denying this New York institution a new lease after 34 years in business. The Cafe Edison is beloved, but I had no idea just how beloved. The outpouring has been tremendous.

Soon after I posted the news, it spread like wildfire across the Internet, from to Playbill. It quickly appeared in the Daily News, the New York Post, and the New York Times, who reported: "The cafe will be replaced by a white-tablecloth restaurant with 'a name chef,' Mr. Strohl said. He has told the staff of 32 that they will be out of work. The hotel’s general manager, Richard Hotter, wrote in a statement that 'we can confirm that the cafe is closing as the hotel prepares for a multimillion-dollar investment to upgrade and restore the space.'"

Immediately, fans of the cafe took to Facebook and Twitter to share their outrage and call for a protest. The Twitter hashtag #SaveCafeEdison was created by the folks behind the Tony Award-winning musical A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder. They also made this lovely image, saying "We can help":

Theater guy Jason Bratton started a petition, which is now up to nearly 2,000 signatures.

This morning, Broadway actor Martha Plimpton wrote a piece for the Daily News, saying, "Oh, my God, it’s a tragedy. The Cafe Edison should be landmarked." And "There is absolutely nothing redeeming about the Times Square of today."

Julie Klausner wrote a piece for Grub Street, saying, "this closing feels different: like the final dagger in the Times Square Tourist Elmo Massacre."

People want to take action. So here's the plan: Tomorrow, starting at noon and going to whenever, there will be a Lunch Mob for Cafe Edison. You can join the event on Facebook here. Below are the details:

This beloved New York institution must not go down without a fight. Let your voice be heard--and have some matzo (or brisket, or blintzes, maybe a nice piece of fish?).

Let the cafe, hotel management, and the tourists know why you're there. PLEASE BRING A SIGN OF SUPPORT TO CREATE A VISUAL IMPACT. Markers, poster board, slogans: "Save Cafe Edison," "Polish Tea Room Forever," whatever's clever.

Have lunch, make some noise, get connected with other concerned and pissed off New Yorkers. Take photos--tweet and Instagram with hashtag #SaveCafeEdison. Do those Foursquare and Swarm check-in things, too. Spread the word!

Cafe Edison is located at 228 W 47th St., between 7th and 8th Aves.


Anonymous said...

This is starting to look like the "Grand Central Station" moment of this whole movement.

Anonymous said...

With the taylor swiftboating of Times Square, what about the movie houses that lined 42nd? Are they still present?

DrBOP said...

The only thing that hurts worse than this attempted desecration is that I can't be there with you all. At least my spirit will be.....and MANY others also.....and that's the thing about spirits.....'ya don't know what they can do to 'ya!


Get it going.....KEEP IT GOING....let'em know that ENOUGH IS ENOUGH....governments are supposed to be for ALL the people.....NOT the select FEW!

Anonymous said...

It's business. Preserving Cafe Edison would mean denying the landlord his right. A lease was signed and now its up. I Like their liverwurst as much as anyone else but unless you petioners put your money where your mouth is and make the landlord a better offer, you'll have to deal with it.

Blaiser said...


You're a coward.

My name is Andrew Blais. I have made my living in Entertainment, moving to New York with a scant $3000 to my name, since 1991. It's my house, and the houses of my brethren that are being torn down. One has to draw the line somewhere.

"It's business," is as non-sensical a response to this situation as one can have. One that bears zero connecting-of-the-dots populated by the people who even make owning the Edison Hotel possible. They are the people who struggle in the arts, for love of something greater than themselves, so that you can put on expensive clothes and attempt to impress your date with the cost of your orchestra seats--because you sure as shit aren't going to do it with your compassion--before driving a nice car home to the suburbs, or the East Side, or TriBeCa, or anywhere else where the people who worship money reside.

You may as well have written, "It's politics.... Hitler was elected democratically. Unless you Germans can come up with a more viable candidate, you'll just have to deal with it."

Your world is a poor, cold one if the only numbers you're capable of analyzing are preceded by a dollar sign, you smug, one-dimensional bully.

It's not too late for you, however. Which is great news.

You can go do something useful to people other than yourself tonight, and go see an off-Broadway play, or attend a museum, or throw a fin into the hat of that kid trying to pay for Julliard by playing his fiddle on the F train and consider the idea that the wheels of America need not turn solely on an axis of capital and they need not transport only the arrogant.