Magazine August 13, 2018, Issue

Requiem for a Restaurant

(Eduardo Munoz/Reuters)
Richard Brookhiser mourns the Coffee Shop.

This is an obituary so there will be names. Charles Milite, one of the owners of The Coffee Shop, announced that the Union Square restaurant will be closing on October 11 after a 28-year run.

The preceding restaurant in the space was Nick’s Coffee Shop, a typical New York Greek-run diner. The new owners, Milite, Eric Petterson, and Carolyn Benitez, all former Wilhelmina models, kept Nick around for the first few years for local color, but they added color of their own.

The atmosphere was slightly Brazilian, slightly mid-century — the era when the Jetsons were the future. The back room, called

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