Drop a bomb on Times Square. It's over. The Cafe Edison is being evicted -- denied a lease renewal and thus forced out by the Edison Hotel after 34
The last real coffee shop left in the neighborhood, it's an absolute oasis in an otherwise miserable part of town. Located in the Edison Hotel since 1980, it's also known as the Polish Tea Room, a place to get an affordable meal of matzoh ball soup, brisket, a bagel. It's long been a favorite hangout for the theater crowd, cops, blue-collar workers, even magicians.
I talked this morning to Conrad Strohl, the cafe's manager, who was in the middle of a bustling breakfast rush. The Edison does good business. Conrad told me the closing is for sure, the Hotel Edison is not renewing the cafe's lease.
"They don't want us here," he told me.
He expects the cafe will be there for at least another month. They're looking to relocate. But how can you relocate perfection? The place looks like no other, with walls painted pink and baby blue over frothy plaster angels and scrollwork--it's like dining inside a big wedding cake. I love this place. Many, many New Yorkers love this place.
When longtime owner Harry Edelstein died in 2009, Broadway dimmed the lights of its marquees in tribute.
The Times wrote of Cafe Edison: "The playwright August Wilson wrote notes for three of his scripts on Cafe Edison napkins. [Neil] Simon’s 2001 comedy, '45 Seconds From Broadway,' was a sentimental display of his affection for the restaurant. 'There is something magical about this place,' he said, sitting there in 2001."
New York magazine called it "a New York institution."
So how can it be evicted?
It seems like the Edison Hotel is cleaning house. In 2010, they got rid of the original Rum House bar, after 37 years in business. Last year, they evicted Sofia's Italian restaurant after 35 years.
At the time, I wrote, "If they take away Cafe Edison, I may have no choice but to turn to homicide." So who do we have to kill to keep the Cafe Edison right where it is?