After 65 years on Lexington Avenue, Gino closed its doors after dinner on Saturday night. Brooks of Sheffield has written up a poignant, cogent account of the evening on Eater, one that makes painfully clear what — aside from the zebra wallpaper — will be lost with the restaurant’s passing:
Looking out at the bustling, bubbling room, it was clear there was something worth saving here, and something worth mourning. The energy of the place was different than that you’d find at The Ace Hotel or The Lion or any of the current hotspots. It wasn’t predatory, cruel, self-important or self-involved. It was generous and warm and teeming with character, the vibrations of a large group of people not only happy to be in a familiar space, but to be with one another. They knew that life seemed not just larger, but fuller and better while they were inside this zebra-line sanctum. It felt like what New York restaurants must of felt like in the 1950s — small welcoming villages within a big cold city.