New York's Elaine's restaurant to close its doors

Tue May 17, 2011 2:45pm EDT
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NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - New York's famed Elaine's restaurant will close, nearly six months after owner Elaine Kaufman died, its management said Tuesday.

The eatery on Manhattan's Upper Eastside, which opened in 1963, will shut down permanently after "last call" Thursday, May 26, said longtime manager Diane Becker who inherited the restaurant.

"This is one of the most difficult decisions I've ever had to make," she said in a statement, "but the truth is, there is no Elaine's without Elaine.

"It's simply not a viable situation. The business is just not there without Elaine," she said.

Kaufman died in December at age 81.

She was a nightly fixture at the restaurant, which was popular with scores of authors, actors, professional athletes and politicians who made it their regular hangout and with tourists who visited to spot the celebrities.

(Reporting by Ellen Wulfhorst; Editing by Greg McCune)