Happy Boxing Day. If you were celebrating, we hope you had a fabulous day!
Christmas Day brought a miracle on 42nd Street with the West Bank Cafe and Laurie Beecham Theater being saved from closure.
Within 90 minutes of the fundraising telethon starting, the goal of $250,000 had been reached. Steve Olsen said after passing the target: “This is the greatest Christmas gift ever. We’ve been here for 42 years serving the theater community. Over 2,600 people have made donations. I’m going to be busy till the end of the pandemic writing thank you notes.”
The number of thank you notes has increased to 2,800 since then — and the funds raised top $315,000. It’s a new chapter written, and a new chapter starting in the wonderful life of Steve.
Here’s what’s been happening the rest of the week…
There was more good news when Mama Mia 44SW was rescued from imminent closure by The Barstool Fund and Dave Portnoy.
Connie Rogers, a member of the Schiattarella Family who started Mama Mia 44SW in Hell’s Kitchen back in 1971, made a last-ditch video appeal to the fund: “If I don’t get any help, I don’t think I’m going to make it. I will have to close. I told my mom when she passed in January ‘don’t worry. I have your business’.” Portnoy agreed to fund Mama Mia 44SW through the pandemic.
Unfortunately, many businesses have not been so lucky — and the lists of closures and hibernations continue. Bobby List took his camera and documented the shuttered storefronts on a section of 9th Avenue. “Each of these empty windows represents an entire staff of employees who are out of work. And all of their families and financial responsibilities.”
We also reported on the big names under stress in midtown. “Just like in Game of Thrones, winter is coming and it is getting dark”
If you’ve not tipped the staff in your apartment building yet, we have some advice for you from our readers.
If you’re in the search of a cup of hot chocolate, we created a list of local favorites — and found a report that says it’s good for your brain! Maybe go and have two cups!
We’re making the most of the last days of this unforgettable year. Early in the week, the 2021 sign arrived in Times Square before being hoisted up for the ball drop. For some reason, it was very popular!
We are asking: “Will this be the last holiday season for the Central Park Carriage Horses?” We’re running a story next week checking on the future of these Hell’s Kitchen stables. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or hit reply to express your point of view.
What we’ve been reading
Casting the net to find out why so many dead fish are washing up on New York’s shores. (Gothamist)
New York singles spill the beans on pandemic dating. (TimeOut)
Eight months after closing in Hell’s Kitchen, UCB is shuttering in Los Angeles too. (Hollywood Reporter)
Diners! Could you be suffering from… sidewalk fatigue? (Grub Street)