Some very sad news: Zucco, the owner of Le French Diner on Orchard Street, died on Saturday of an apparent heart attack. Bowery Boogie reports that the restaurant’s beloved proprietor, who used only his first name, passed away while he was working, and was tended to on the sidewalk outside by EMTs who tried, unsuccessfully, to revive him.
Zucco, a goateed, charming fellow who had previously run a boxing magazine in Paris, opened his tiny restaurant in 2005. It quickly earned a following for its well-executed bistro food and impeccably quirky decor; its dollhouse-like confines (Zucco once told the Times that “I can seat 20 skinny people or 14 fat ones”) all but guaranteed a line outside most days of the week.
Zucco’s friends are apparently trying to raise money to have his body flown back to France. The restaurant’s future is uncertain, but without question, its proprietor will be missed.