Friday, December 3, 2010

Famed Restaurateur Elaine Kauffman Dead At 81

The famed Manhattan restaurateur Elaine Kauffman (owner of Elaine's at 2nd and 88th on the upper east side) is dead.
Elaine died earlier today of complications from chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder and pulmonary hypertension, according to a statement issued by the restaurant's representative.
Elaine's relatively small restaurant was a haven for writers, actors and celebrities. Woody Allen was a regular and featured the restaurant in several of his movies. Among the writers who frequented Elaine's were George Plimption, Gay Talese, Norman Mailer and Truman Capote. Jackie Mason was a regular as were Sidney Lumet, Eli Wallach, Billy Dee Willaims, Raquel Welch and Jackie Onassis.
Celebrities felt secure and cocooned at Elaine's. They felt they could be unfettered and undisturbed by ordinary tourists and non-Manhattanites.
Elaine was a tough gatekeeper and she was known to steer the not-so-famous to the back room if they got in at all.
Many thought the food was merely mediocre and the prices were out of line but Elaine's has endured since 1963. That's an eternity in the restaurant business in the Big Apple.

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