Friday, September 8, 2017

Cafe Orlin


After 36 years on St. Mark's Place, the much beloved Cafe Orlin will be closing.

I confirmed with the cafe that their last day in business will be October 15, but didn't have the chance to find out the reason for the closure.

UPDATE: Grub Street followed up and said, "An employee who confirmed the closing said, 'I don’t know. I think the owner is tired, after 36 years.' He did say that Orlin’s owner owns the building, and a new restaurant will open in its place."

"Bohemian hangout," New York magazine, 1987

This is one of those favorite neighborhood spots you tuck into with a friend and say: Thank goodness this one's still here. (Seriously, I just said that a few weeks ago over the breakfast sandwich.)

The closure is surprising if only because Orlin is always packed for weekend brunch, with lines of people waiting to get a table. Since 1981, it's been a go-to when you wanted a "nicer" bacon and eggs than diner fare.

And now? Yet another nail in the coffin for dying St. Mark's Place.

Well, you can always go to the St. Mark's Starbucks.


Laura Goggin Photography said...

Whoa, no!

I don't think I've ever seen the place NOT packed. I don't even know what to say anymore. You can run the most successful business and still get priced out. What hope is there? Gotta get a new Mayor and a City Council who actually care.

Wink2x said...

This breaks my heart. I love eating here; it's always been my go-to place for a good meal on a bad day, for a long friend to friend tete-a-tete, for out of town guests, in fact, any time I wanted to go to a place where adults could eat comfortably without blaring TV sets and drunken kidults. The food was great, the waitstaff quirky and personable, the rooms and tables comfortable, and they made a damn fine Cafe Americano. A long time neighborhood mainstay, and I will miss them tremendously. Thank you Orlin, for all your fine hospitality over the years! The best to you in whatever you choose to do next!

Gar said...

Now cafe Mogador will be even more crowded.

Downtowner said...

Jesus, I can't believe they're closing. I mean, I get that sometimes owners simply are done with a business - and have every right to be done. But it was one of my last go-to places for a good breakfast/brunch. Sad.

Harold Appel said...

So sad for me. Another nail in the coffin for my city.

unreceivedogma said...

I remember when the place first opened. It started out as a coffee and pastry shop, and occupied only the room behind the front entrance. I have been going there ever since, about once a week at least.

Sometime in the mid-80s, they expanded into the large room to the left and had a full menu, and became my favorite brunch and dinner place. Then came the third, thin room, was it to isolate smokers before smoking became illegal altogether?

As it turns out, after living in NYC for 45 years, I am also leaving by the end of this month. What a coincidence.

Still sad to see it go. It was a part of what made the East Village the East Village. I have soooooo many terrific memories there. But time marches on.

Caleo said...

Heartbreaking. Many great meals there over the decades. Great blueberry pancakes, and even better to eat them while watching the world go by, as I did frequently in the 90's.
36 years is a good run, but sad to see it go.
Mogador is the only one left, and it's still fantastic.

John K said...

Yet another bummer. Please, can someone get through to de Blasio and the City Council before every small business is wiped off the streets of New York? BTW, Cafe Orlin appears in Susan Seidelman's 1982 film Smithereens, which features an unvarnished look at early 1980s post-punk era New York. The main character, Wren, played by Susan Berman, even gets into a knock-down, roll-around-the-floor fight there.

Barbara L. Hanson said...

The owner owns the building. The impression above is that he is ready to retire.

jamesban1 said...

Loved the chocolate cake which came with whipped cream. Back in the 80s anyway.

descarada said...

This is terrible news!! I worked there from 1998 to 2000 and it was my first restaurant job. It was pretty awesome as far as those go, at least to 18 yr old me. I wish Avigdor the best ❤️❤️ also I'm pretty sure it's been open for 38 years since I remember it being a year older than me

Brent H. said...

While my brunches here were consistently average at best, it's always unfortunate when an East Village institution closes. At least it's the owner's choice and not the result of being priced-out of the neighborhood. I just hope whatever takes its place is delicious and reasonably priced. Would certainly help take the load off Cafe Mogador

Unknown said...

I have been a regular at Cafe' Orlin for 32 years. Sad to see it go. Thanks Avigdor and staff for all the great meals and experiences over the years.