A year after the closure of the original Fedora bar and restaurant, which graced West 4th Street from 1952 until its eponymous owner retired last summer, its patrons are mourning what Gabriel Stulman has done to it.
Last week, Marty After Dark paid a visit to the restaurant and didn’t like what he saw, to put it mildly. He disapproved of Stulman’s decision to replace the original neon sign with a new, almost identical one (“You really can’t tell the difference much, but it still sucks”), the restaurant’s patrons (“Obnoxious people talking two octaves too loud, fake-laughing at each other’s ironic jokes in a loud and sickening manner”), and the removal of all of the old photos and memorabilia — which Stulman had claimed he’d keep — in favor of more current décor (“There’s a black and white picture of Jay Z in the corner where the pay phone used to be”).
His conclusion following his brief stay? “Vomit eruptus.”
Today, Jeremiah Moss sounds a similarly disapproving note by way of a detailed chronology of the original establishment’s demise and subsequent Stulman-branded resurrection. And judging by past interviews in which he vowed to keep a portion of the original artifacts on the walls, the Mayor of Little Wisco has a few things to answer for.
But what’s sadder than the displacement of Fedora’s wall décor is the displacement of its old patrons, who have been succeeded by an army of affluent faux-hemians: “What happens to people when their favorite gathering place is gone?” Moss asks. “Without that container to hold them together, do they simply vanish, too?”