R.I.P. Elaine Kaufman

Friday, December 3, 2010

Elaine Kaufman, the legendary owner of celeb clubhouse/no-frills UES restaurant Elaine’s, died this afternoon at Lenox Hill Hospital at age 81. Kaufman had been struggling with health issues for the past five years and entered the hospital on Nov. 17.

Everyone hung out at Elaine’s, which served comfort food to the chic set from Jackie O to Woody Allen, who first started his romance with Mia Farrow at the eatery. Writers especially loved Elaine’s and her friends and customers included George Plimpton, Gay Talese, Tom Wolfe, Norman Mailer, Tennessee Williams and Jay McInerney, to name a few.

Open almost half a century (and hopefully it won’t close – stay tuned for updates), Elaine infamously liked to be called “Mama” and was a no-nonsense host. She threw a garbage can lid at the original paparazzi Ron Galella and kicked Molly Ringwald out one night for sneaking in a cheeseburger into her joint.

Elain’s favorite word was “awesome.” Which pretty much sums up the larger-than-life lady herself.

A memorial will be held sometime early next year.


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