A couple of weeks ago Elaine Kaufman, the grand proprietress of the showbiz hangout Elaine's, died at age 81. She was really the last of her kind, the tough New York saloon keeper. She followed in the footsteps of people like Toots Shor and Jack Dempsey, people who owned restaurants that catered to the rich and famous, as well as the ordinary, alike. A place where people came to eat, drink, talk, and enjoy themselves. With the passing of Elaine, a part of the city's history and soul went with her.
Elaine's meant a lot to many people. In 2002, writer AE Hotchner wrote a very long profile of Elaine and her saloon in Vanity Fair called Queen of the Night. It's all about the history of Elaine, Elaine's, her patrons, and her legend. It's about a time and place that doesn't really exist anymore, a New York we loved and wish still existed -- but that will always be in our hearts.