Friday, January 16, 2015

Jean-Claude Baker, Founder of Chez Josephine Bistro, Commits Suicide at 71


Sounds like the obsessed Josephine Baker fan turned confidant died of carbon-monoxide poisoning in his East Hampton garage. Just had a wonderful birthday dinner for a friend at the restaurateur's famed eatery on 42nd Street.

The New York Times writes:
Chez Josephine, a high-end brasserie and piano bar featuring luxuriant velvet curtains, red banquettes and Josephine Baker memorabilia, opened in 1986 on 42nd Street, between Ninth and 10th Avenues. It was an anchor in the transformation of a grim strip of real estate into an Off Broadway theater district. From the start Chez Josephine was an eccentric pre- and post-theater spot — many Broadway theaters are within walking distance — and with its ripe d├ęcor redolent of Paris from an earlier age and Mr. Baker’s effervescent hospitality, it gathered its own coterie of the famous. One regular was Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. Mr. Baker told a reporter that to protect her privacy, he once allowed her to use the men’s room while he stood guard. If she had used the women’s room, he said, other women would have flocked in after her.
Curious ending to a colorful life. RIP. 

Read HERE.


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