23 March 2006

Tuna Salad Lives on in Flatiron

Sometime the dailies, in their munificence, decide good news is news also.

In today's Metro section, The New York Times helpfully notified folks that Eisenberg's Sandwich Shop has been saved from Corcoran and the other devils of real estate. A former patron of the preserved-in-amber lunch counter, which sits just a stone's throw from the Flatiron building, decided to hop behind the counter and buy the business, rather than see it turn paws up. Josh Konecky is the modern saint's name (all hail) and, lord preserve us, he has an 18-year lease. So we won't have to worry about being without "The Best Tuna Sandwich in New York" until 2024.

Why, in these odious times, would a landlord do such a thing when he could easily welcome another Sephora? The Times' description of the man offers a clue. His wife runs a Russian bookstore in the space above Eisenberg's. Obviously, the landlord is an impractical man with a soft spot for unprofitable niche businesses. Plus, he gets to eat lunch at the Sandwich Shop every day for only $2.

Speaking of sandwich shops, does anyone know why the Andrews Coffee Shop is fast disappearing from the Manhattan landscape? Once, they were on every other corne south of 23rd Street. Now, every week another one is boarded up. These places were never classics, but they were reliable, cheap and unpretentious. When I made $18,000 a year at my first job in 1990, I ate at Andrew's at least once a week. It was the only sit-down restaurant I could afford. Perhaps they've been banned by the culture police for being hopefully un-fabulous.

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