24 January 2008

Trouble on Gansevoort Street?

If you've been wondering what else can be done to strip the Meatpacking Distict of all its character, try this on: Florent's days may be numbered.

Eater reported that the venerable hipster diner, which was open 24 hours a day when Gansavoort Street was still scary and dangerous and odiferous, may be up for sale. According to their information, the restaurant's landlord is shopping around the space. Eater admits that's its sources aren't 100%, but, just to make sure, they phoned Florent owner Florent Morellet. And it's the way Morellet replies that makes one worry:

"I can't tell you [when we'll close]. Nobody will know until the fat lady sings, as we say. I'll fight with the last bone in my body... The rents are high in the neighborhood. Like I've said to a lot of people, I'm optimistic because I believe the world economy will collapse and so might the real estate prices in the neighborhood. Maybe people will get down to reality and realize that the sky's not the limit. We don't know. We'll know down the road. It's not closing yet. Not at all."

Dose ain't da woids of a confident man.

If Florent does go, I'm ready to stick a fork in the Meatpacking District for good. The diner is a wonderful slice of New Yorkiana, with an understated, 1950s, Film Noir vibe. Florent opened in 1985. The old R & L Restaurant sign, denoting the space's previous tenant, still sit above the awning. Coming up it and its lovely pink neon sign at 3 AM and seeing the inside abuzz with hungry young scenesters is enough to warm the cockles of any urbania aficianado's heart. (I still recall my first nighttime glimpse of it as a magical moment, like spying a mirage in a cobblestone desert.)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That's the thanks you get for being a pioneer and opening your place in neighborhood that no one else would touch. Florent's closing just proves that New York is turning into a giant shopping mall, stripped of any bit of the character that made it unique. We might as well all live in Boise, where the rent is probably cheaper!