Life Café (Birthplace of Rent) Shutters


A bit of sad news for East Village residents. Yesterday evening, Kathy Kirkpatrick shuttered her long-standing Life Café “until further notice.” According to a note posted on her website, building repairs that were supposed to be completed a year ago need to be addressed and until her landlord fixes them, the eatery will remain closed.

Playwright Jonathan Larson spent time at Life Café when he was writing Rent, and there’s little question that the café plays a part in his musical about struggling artists in the East Village in the 1990s. Indeed, the café has been an East Village fixture since 1981, long before mothers would dare to push their $400 strollers through Tompkins Square Park, and when artistic types could actually afford to live in the neighborhood. Kirkpatrick writes on the site, “We anticipate a rebirth of Life Café sometime in the near future.” Let’s hope that’s indeed the case.

[via EV Grieve]