VanishingNewYork.blogspot.com broke the news that the popular restaurant would shut its doors because the Hotel Edison is not renewing the café's lease.
Conrad Strohl, the cafe's manager, told Vanishing New York, "They don't want us here." The Hotel Edison and Strohl have not yet responded to Playbill.com's request for comment.
According to the Times, the cafe will be replaced by a white-tablecloth restaurant with "a name chef," Strohl said. The manager also told his staff of 32 that they will be out of work.
The hotel's general manager, Richard Hotter, wrote in a statement that "we can confirm that the cafe is closing as the hotel prepares for a multi-million-dollar investment to upgrade and restore the space."
Many theatre folk took to Twitter to express their sadness in the wake of the news. The Cafe Edison, also known as the Polish Tea Room, has been located in the Edison Hotel since 1980.Playwright August Wilson wrote notes for three of his scripts on Cafe Edison napkins, and Neil Simon's 2001 comedy 45 Seconds From Broadway was inspired by the restaurant. In 45 Seconds, the roles of Zelda and Bernie are based on the real-life owners of the Edison Cafe, Frances Edelstein and the late Harry Edelstein.
Click through to read words from members of the theatre industry who signed their names to the petition.
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