Nearly had a stroke when I walked past Elmo last night and saw signs all over the windows saying it was closing for renovation -- "renovation" usually being shorthand for "we're going out of business but want to throw our creditors off while we skip town." Damian, Tim and I -- who still eat at the venerable holdout from Chelsea's gay heyday as if Splash were still the hottest bar in town -- were so concerned, in fact, that we went in to question the staff still on hand.
The young woman we spoke to assured us that this was a "real" renovation to mark the 15th anniversary of the place, which I can remember visiting opening week in 2002 back when it was best known for having a Ross Bleckner that was commissioned for the joint hanging over the front bar. She told us the entire thing will be redone -- including the downstairs lounge -- and that they will reopen for business in just one week. (Nice to see some men in Chelsea still operate very fast!) Longtime Chelsea residents will remember the location was the former home of Chelsea Lobster and before than Claire, which was known as the "Key West of the city."
Although Tim breathed a sigh of relief at the news, he still left flummoxed asking: "Where will we get truffle fries for the next week?" Congrats to Elmo on 15 wonderful years -- and here's wishing you 15 more!
UPDATE: East of Eighth, another legendary gay restaurant in Chelsea, just abruptly closed. Read HERE.