- Paul Walker secretly bought $9K wedding ring for Iraq vet
- Mystery sign poster hits Washington state town: ‘It’s OK to say Merry Christmas’
- Pope Francis forms commission to advise on sex abuse
- Anthony Weiner on radio? Cumulus says, ‘Never, ever’
- Executive order: Obama ups green-energy mandate on feds to 20 percent
- GOP launches candidate training: How to talk to women
- N.Y.’s Rockefeller Center lights up, as Bloomberg flicks on 76-foot Christmas tree
- Northern Ireland turns to ‘Game of Thrones’ to draw in tourists
- Washington woman live-tweets husband’s horrific car death
- China City of America mulled for New York — with $65M tax dollars
Restaurateur Elaine Kaufman dies in NYC
Kaufman was a veteran waitress and cafe manager in Greenwich Village when she bought a small bar-restaurant near the corner of Second Avenue and 88th Street in 1963.
It was never about the design or the food _ basic Italian fare. It was all about the owner-hostess, an outsized mother figure in a tentlike dress, and her friendships with the famous.
“It offers an ambience of camaraderie that is centered on Elaine herself. She’s the den mother there,” Talese said in 1988. “It’s like a boarding house: You’ve got the round table, and you don’t need a reservation if you’re a friend of hers.”
Woody Allen opened his movie “Manhattan” with a scene set in Elaine‘s. He became a regular, Kaufman told The Associated Press in 1988, because “he loves to people-watch. It’s comfortable, nobody bothers him, we make him what he wants.”
Zarem was working for a large PR agency in New York when he walked into Elaine’s three weeks after it opened. The two became fast friends and, he said, she encouraged him to open his own shop. He in turn brought his clients to the restaurant and began throwing events there _ from movie promotions to book parties. Elaine’s soon became the party place of New York.
“I just don’t know what to say,” Zarem said through tears from his home in Savannah, Ga. “We were best friends and extremely supportive of one another. She was supportive of everybody _ especially writers.”
Kaufman was particularly close to Talese and Plimpton, and would allow out-of-work writers to eat for free, said Zarem, who once entertained celebrities such as Allen, Kirk Douglas and Michael Caine there.
“She was just this great, big wonderful woman. She was smart and very smart about people. You could trust her and talk about anything … and you could sit up there until 2 in the morning,” Zarem said.
Critics noted that ordinary tourists got less-well-placed tables and paid Cadillac-style prices for Chevrolet-style food, but Kaufman said detractors and celebrity-watchers alike made too big a deal out of the place.
“I think a lot of people just come in to have dinner,” she said. “And you have a good time. A good bottle of wine, a nice plate of pasta _ I mean, that’s life.”
- CURL: 'Mission Accomplished' for Obamacare
- American teacher shot and killed at Benghazi international school
- NAPOLITANO: Liberty, the wellspring of capitalism and charity
- 'Hunger Games' delivers Obama's message on income inequality
- Pentagon may give recruits 'a shot to start over' after shameful social media posts
- Democratic infighting erupts over 'we can have it all' fantasy on entitlements
- HARPER: 'Knockout game' not a myth to liberal Sharpton
- Obama returns to class warfare as poll numbers plunge
- Hack attack: 2 million Facebook, Twitter passwords stolen
- Inside the Ring: China targeting U.S. spy flights amid escalating tensions
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
History doesn't have to be grim; there is a lot to be learned from the pages of time.
Find the latest news and happening that effect those in the Washington D.C., Northern Virginia and Maryland Metro region.
Television commentary, reviews, news and nonstop DVR catch-up by Lisa King Dolloff and friends.
The Constitution: Every issue, every time. No exceptions, no excuses. And how to get from here to there.