45 Seconds from Broadway
December 24, 2014 8:14 AM   Subscribe

I am totally gutted. So many pre-show meals at this place! Where can I get my matzo ball now?
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:16 AM on December 24, 2014 [5 favorites]

Don't worry it's probably being replaced by a Noodles Company where u can get a Big Matsa Bowl™ with extra chili.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:24 AM on December 24, 2014 [7 favorites]

According to The New York Times, proprietor Harry Edelstein was 79 in 2001 and 91 in 2009.
posted by Sys Rq at 8:31 AM on December 24, 2014 [7 favorites]

During Chanukah? A shonda!
posted by qi at 8:32 AM on December 24, 2014 [3 favorites]

According to The New York Times, proprietor Harry Edelstein was 79 in 2001 and 91 in 2009.

Owning a small business ages you fast.
posted by Etrigan at 8:35 AM on December 24, 2014 [7 favorites]

It was a gorgeous place. I hate watching these sites vanish.

There used to be (or possibly still is) a recording studio at the Edison Hotel that connected to the cafe. A producer friend of mine used to like to record the tracks for TV commercials there -- until the day when she left the phone message saying she would be "out for a couple hours doing Trix with Steve at the Edison Hotel."
posted by Mchelly at 8:44 AM on December 24, 2014 [7 favorites]

Time to drown our sorrows at its sister establishment, the Russian Vodka Room.
posted by grumpybear69 at 8:53 AM on December 24, 2014 [2 favorites]

Argh. When I was a kid we would stay at the Edison when we'd come down to New York to see shows (my mom was a theater professor - she and her colleagues would take a busload of students down for a few days twice a year and sometimes I could come too) and we ate in the cafe often. I can exactly remember what it smells like in there. When, later, I lived in New York it was one of my go-to places in that part of town and I recommended it to people regularly. A dollop of old New York right in the middle of New New York.

But all of these things slip away. And it's as it should be, I guess, because New York constantly rebuilds itself in a flawed collective image of itself. Proclaiming grief and bewilderment at the loss off places like this, honestly, was in retrospect one of the defining and most common interactions I had as a New Yorker.

An interesting thing, sort of relatedly: the Prime Burger, across from St. Patrick's, was my absolute favorite place for lunch when I worked in midtown. Very different from the Edison, but kindred in terms of its anachronism. But I got word from a fellow fan that it was closing. Alas. But their website remains - like a digital ghost sign. Immortal, until the pre-paid website hosting runs down.

A great short film about Prime Burger is here.
posted by dirtdirt at 8:55 AM on December 24, 2014 [5 favorites]

There's always Eisenberg's.
posted by How the runs scored at 9:15 AM on December 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

Eisenberg's isn't close enough to the theatre district to stop by between shows.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:25 AM on December 24, 2014 [2 favorites]

posted by allthinky at 10:20 AM on December 24, 2014

posted by maggiemaggie at 11:06 AM on December 24, 2014

Lived in the NY area most of my life. Only went to the Cafe Edison a few times. It was with my grandmother. She wanted to go. She would talk to the Edelstein's about all sorts of things from "days gone by" as she would put it. My grandmother was a little old lady. I don't think she ever felt as comfortable or as appreciated outside of family gatherings as she did in that restaurant. My grandmother died about ten years ago, I never went back.

On this Christmas Eve, I will have a bowl of soup, Matzo Ball if I can find some, in the Cafe's and my grandmother's honor.

posted by 724A at 11:06 AM on December 24, 2014 [4 favorites]

It's a terrible loss that may have a positive outcome: it has kickstarted a #SaveNYC campaign that's organizing on Facebook and elsewhere with the intent of pushing public policy changes that will offer some protection for the city's small businesses.
posted by Scram at 12:52 PM on December 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best corned beef hash I've ever had.

posted by aloiv2 at 1:14 PM on December 24, 2014

I never had the hash :( :( :(
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 6:22 PM on December 24, 2014

Cafe Edison was a special, magical secret. There you'd be, in the middle of overpriced, overtouristy, oversanitized Times Square but you could duck into a nicer place, an older place, a place that shouldn't have existed, a place where you could get a reuben the size of a small child and for cheap. Nurse a cup of coffee for as long as they let you. Scribble in a notebook. Listen to the theater people talking all around you. It was real, it was a secret, it was usually full. I took my wife in March. "Let me show you something," I said. "We're going to Times Square to eat. I know that look. Trust me." She got the small child-sized reuben and vowed to return. Now we can't, and for why? Because someone got greedy and disrespectful. Let's hear it for the boutiquification of New York.

at least there's still veselka by st mark's and god help us all if that should change
posted by Spatch at 8:36 PM on December 24, 2014

I loved their kasha varnishkas. Wish I had gotten back for one last dish of it.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 9:53 PM on December 24, 2014


Best matzoh brei in town, bar none.
posted by yellowcandy at 10:03 AM on December 26, 2014

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