This is a good time to take a break from writing about work and observe the end of a New York City institution. Cafe La Fortuna. Yes the oldest cafe on the Upper West Side and a favorite haunt to its residents– John Lennon and Yoko Ono included– is closing today.
According to the New York Times article the culprit is the same one that made New York claim the #4 spot on the list of most miserable cities in the US: ludicrous real estate situation. A change in the ownership of the building meant transition from an almost rent-stabilized situation to completely insane market prices. The milestone is also covered by CNN, Gothamist and amNY.
To get a sense of the history here: the table Lennon used to sit at and featured on the cover of the single Nobody Told Me was retired by the owner “Uncle Vinny” after his death in 1980, but remained stacked with memorabilia in the front window. It was recently gifted to Yoko Ono. So surprised was she that they had kept it for 25+ years that she wrote a letter thanking him, which hangs framed on the wall.
One long-time customer quoted by the NYT put it very concisely:
“I’ve told many people,” he said. “When this place closes, it’s time to leave New York.”
This blogger could not agree more.