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Sunday, 12 January 2014

The Resto is History


IT'S IN THE nature of things -- and the vagaries of the dining business -- that restaurants come and go. Some are missed more than others. RICHARD CARREÑO, a PJ editor, laments the passing of Locke-Ober Cafe, a venerable Boston landmark pictured above, and heralds the survival of venerable New York establishment. He reports from Philadelphia.



THE LAST CHECK
BY RICHARD CARRENO
[WRITERSCLEARINGHOUSE NEWS SERVICE]
PHILADELPHIA
Good news/bad news via The New York Times this morning:
 
Locke-Ober Cafe in Boston closed in 2012. And I'm just learning this! George Frazier's fav resto. The place, in the '70s, that we took Pepe, our miniature poodle, with us to dinner. He got his own hamburger. And linen napkin. Remember tossing back a few with Mark during his 'radio days' when he was travelling to Boston frequently. (Remember Ted Kennedy and that gay hotel in Back Bay? Not at in that order, nor the same time.) Another restaurant is supposed to rise on its site in Winter Street. Another theme. Another name. Another time. Gone.
 
Bookies in Philly has been saved. Sorta. The Old Original Bookbinder's downtown by the river (actually, the old, original Bookbinder's) closed five years ago. Jose Garces, the Philly resto impressario and the King of Tapas, bought the place recently. A new life, methinks? Not so fast. Turns out that this wonderful turn-of-the-century (the other one of course) space will be used as kind of commissary for Garces's other ops, a private dinner venue, and a oyster bar (when he Garces elects to open it as such).
 
The good news? McSorley's Old Ale House, since 1854 at 16 East Seventh Street, in the East Village, is still thriving. Used to stagger back from there many a night when I was at NYU in the late '60s. It was then still strictly for the guys. (From Bowery bums [remember them?] to NYU students). Women got the vote, at McSorley's, in 1970.  
 
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