We reported last week that beloved Cajun eatery and longtime Bowery hangout Great Jones Cafe was temporarily shutting down — and, according to cryptic information from an employee, would or would not return. Fearing that the Great Jones had become yet the latest victim of rising rents, New Yorkers swarmed onto social media to pay their respects and lament the loss of a neighborhood institution that has served as an indispensable cultural hub for local artists, musicians, and writers — some of whom, like Basquiat, have become quite famous.
In his first book, Making Rent in Bed-Stuy (HarperCollins, 2017), New York-based writer and filmmaker Brandon Harris uses his memoir of “trying to make it in New York City” as the starting point for a complex, multi-layered discussion of race, class, and gentrification.
Last month we wrote about Limited to One, the soon-to-be-unveiled 10th St. vinyl collectors’ haven that hopes to shake up the stereotype of the dusty East Village record shop. Created by the people behind the podcast and cult Instagram RecordNerdz, Limited to One says it plans to focus on contemporary limited-edition and rare vinyl runs — and in the process perhaps become “the Flight Club of record stores.”
New Yorkers today learned some shocking news: beloved Cajun/Creole restaurant Great Jones Cafe will close tonight and may or may not reopen. Tipsters told EV Grieve that tonight would be the last night, but there’s reason to hope rumors of the 34-year-old Basquiat hangout’s death are greatly exaggerated. This evening, an employee at the Jones told Bedford + Bowery that it’s closing for a week; after that it will reopen — or not. More likely not, she said.
Messages left for owner James Moffett have not yet been returned. In April, the restaurant’s longtime GM, Bill Judkins, told EV Grieve that he was forced out when he couldn’t see eye to eye with his two partners, who “feel that the Jones needs to be changed into something more contemporary to appeal to the ‘new’ neighborhood.” The restaurant’s famous jukebox had been turned off, Judkins told Grieve.
In January of 2015, Judkins told Eater that the restaurant’s landlord was “a nice, old school guy,” and that there were still “a few years” left on the lease. Eater wrote that Judkins “doesn’t see things changing anytime soon, although he does admit to some ‘concern’ about what will happen in the future.”
We’re hoping the Noho fixture rises Lazarus-like from the dead. (I mean, where else can you get a proper oyster po boy around here? Served up by Pavement bassist Mark Ibold, no less.) But many are operating on the assumption that the restaurant won’t be coming back. They filed onto social media to pay their respects:
I’ve run the numbers and I’ve had 3 significant, 5 moderately significant and 10 uneventful nights at Great Jones Cafe. RIP pie & catfish.
City councilman Stephen Levin speaks during press conference.
“There is a no more senseless or inhumane action than to leave a body in the street,” declared city councilman Ydanis Rodriguez at a news conference earlier today at the Greenpoint intersection where 27-year-old Neftaly Ramirez was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver early Saturday morning.
Important news for decadent foodies, millenarians, and doomsday preppers: the latest sign of the impending apocalypse has come to pass. Following on the heels of Burger King’s “mac-n-Cheetos,” we now have another ungodly Doctor Moreau-style mac-n-cheese cross-over dish: the mac-n-cheese burger. And, just like the mac-n-cheese bagel, this grotesque beast was created right here in New York.
Deborah Kass‘s iconic OY/YO sculpture made its triumphant return to Brooklyn two weeks ago, and it’s proving irresistible Insta bait.
The sculpture — which reads YO (“I am” in Spanish) or OY (as in the Yiddish “oy vey”) depending which way one faces it — was previously installed in Brooklyn Bridge Park. Now, a year later, it’s back — this time at the Williamsburg waterfront at the end of N. 5th Street.