Bites: Let them eat cake...somewhere else

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The Independent Online

Florent, in Manhattan's Meatpacking District, is closing, rent increases forcing it out of the now-fashionable area whose main claim to fame back in 1985, when the grungy 24-hour Gallic diner opened, was a surfeit of strung-out transsexual prostitutes.

The brainchild of Florent Morellet, a French drag queen with a penchant for dressing up as Marie Antoinette, early regulars included Keith Haring, Madonna and Roy Lichtenstein. More recently its booths have hosted Bjork, Sarah Jessica Parker and Amy Winehouse. The restaurant will close, no doubt with quite some style, on 29 June – Gay Pride Day.

Elsewhere in Manhattan, The New York Post was left red-faced after reporting the sad death of restaurateur Elaine Kaufman, proprietor of the celebrated Elaine's on the Upper East Side; the famously tough 79-year-old, who once liked to engage in fisticuffs with difficult customers, is, it turns out, still alive, well and preparing to celebrate Elaine's 45th anniversary.

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