New York’s iconic Times Square restaurant Café Edison is closing after 34 years. Though not officially kosher, the restaurant is popular for its “kosher style” dishes including matzo ball soup, deli sandwiches and blintzes.
The café will close at the end of December Because the Edison Hotel where it is located chose not to renew the restaurant’s lease. This may be because the West 47th Street location could pull in as much as $50, 000 a month in rent and Café Edison is reportedly only paying about $15, 000 a month.
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Conrad Strohl, the restaurant’s manager who inherited it eight years ago from his father-in-law, told the New York Observer about the eviction, “My father-in-law and his [current hotel owner] father had a handshake agreement that we could stay here as long as we wanted. I was very flabbergasted.”
The restaurant was founded by Harry Edelstein, a Holocaust survivor from Poland, and has been very popular amongst Jewish theater producers and others in the local entertainment industry. Even Neil Simon wrote a play about it called 45 Seconds From Broadway.
As producer Manny Azenberg told the New York Post, “It was hamische, home. And it’s a great American success story. Two people without an education — Harry can’t cook, she makes cabbage soup — open the place and they’re gracious and kind and showbiz adopts them and we all come.”
Jackie Mason said that going there, “makes you feel like you came to your grandmother’s house. I’m already mourning the place. That’s why I’m sitting here now even though I ate already because I can’t get over the fact that it’s closing. I just want to enjoy the feeling of it still being here.”
“Everything I did here was my favorite. [I have] a favorite French Fry. I have a favorite blintz. Even the coffee here is homemade and better. My favorite moment is whenever I’m eating anything, ” the comedian told the Observer.
Jason Bratton, a merchandise manager for the Broadway show “Kinky Boots” has circulated a petition to save the Café which has already garnered 2, 700 signatures.