Elaine’s Closes Doors After 48 Years

Adweek's Michael Wolff on proprietress Elaine Kaufman

I used to think that a particularly cruel act of condescension and mockery was involved in the embrace by writers and editors of Elaine Kaufman, the most celebrated restaurateur of her era in New York, who died, to great fanfare, this winter.

She would slog through her restaurant, Elaine's on the Upper East Side, like a punch-drunk prizefighter, or a low-class madam, or public-house wench vastly past her prime, more threatening than hospitable, muttering discordant and guttural oaths, and, given her size, taking up far more space than the front room in her narrow establishment could afford.

I remember the great panic I felt whenever she headed toward a table I might be sitting at. First, not staring at her in horror required a special effort; then, whatever conversation might have been going on had to stop and another special effort had to be made to include this loud, stupid, uncomprehending woman, interested only in her own bar. Her baying voice was a particular slow chalk on a blackboard.

So I thought the obvious: this is a joke. Read full story in British GQ.