Thursday, July 20, 2017

Goodbye Notes to Cup & Saucer

The Cup & Saucer luncheonette on Canal and Eldridge closed this past week due to the landlord nearly doubling the rent. After the shutters came down one last time, neighbors and friends hung posterboard and pens to gather goodbye and thank you notes.

click to enlarge and read

Among the heartfelt goodbyes and good-lucks, they ask to "Save Chinatown" and "Support the SBJSA," the Small Business Jobs Survival Act, the bill that could have stopped the closure of the Cup & Saucer, as well as many, many others.

It wasn't lack of love that killed the Cup & Saucer.

As I went to leave, a man in construction vest and hardhat walked up and stared at the notes. It's a familiar scene, the devoted regular who hasn't heard that his or her favorite place has shuttered, the New Yorker who shows up to find it gone. They always have the same look of confusion and loss.

"Did you eat breakfast here?" I asked the man.

"I used to eat breakfast here," he replied. "Guess I don't anymore."

We shook our heads. He turned to go and then turned back. He had something else to say.

"This is probably going to be some CVS or Duane Reade or some other useless fucking thing," he said, frustration in his voice. "I live in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, and all the little shops are gone. There's nothing left. The rents are totally out of control."

I told him what the rent went up to on the Cup & Saucer: "Almost sixteen grand."

He shook his head and waved his hand, brushing it all away. And then he went, looking for another place like this, a place he won't be able to find.


Mitch said...

Interesting. Those signs weren't there when I went by on the "last" day (which was actually the day after the last day, as they didn't actually open on Monday). I guess the neighborhood still wanted to say goodbye.

Unknown said...

This place was my home. They had a cartoon drawing of me and my friends hanging above the windows for the past few years. Whenever I saw John, he always greeted me with a hug and a kiss.

My friend David and I came to Cup and Saucer on its last day to have our final meal there, only to find out they closed early because so many people came to say goodbyes over the weekend that they ran out of food. Since we never got the closure, we hung these signs up so we could say our final goodbyes and let other people who didn't get a chance to say goodbye do the same. I came back a week later to see what people have wrote and the signs were gone; I don't know if John and Nick got them or if someone else took them down. But seeing your pictures of the signs that are filled will overwhelming love for a place that I called home for the past several years has brought me a sense of closure I felt I was missing.

Thank you for posting this.