Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Cafe Colonial Closes Its Door, Leaves Thank You Note On Its Wall

A pregnant Luciane Gilan opened Cafe Colonial on the corner Elizabeth and Houston (map) in 1994. In 2010, due to a large increase in rent, Cafe Colonial did not renew its lease. Yesterday it served its last meal and the proprietor left a message on the exterior wall for employees, customers, and New York City residents alike.

EV Grieve was first to report on the imminent closing back in March, which Grub Street then followed up by speaking with Gilan. Yesterday, Bowery Boogie went by to bid adieu.

It's interesting that the laments over the loss of Cafe Colonial are closely tied to an implication that Keith McNally's newly opened Pulino's has helped drive out Colonial by drastically increasing the potential market rate rent for Colonial's space.

Cafe Colonial represents the beginning of a rapid gentrification and demographic change in the neighborhood that helped to lay the foundation for Pulino's, Nolita, and New Bowery. As Cafe Colonial is a bit bitter towards Pulino's, my friend who has lived on Elizabeth Street for 20 years is bitter towards the Cafe for the same reasons.

New York City, it's like a continual cycle of bitterness and resentment. And that's fine.

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