Gone, Gone, Gone

The distressing cycle of closings and openings continues.

The Green Cat Cafe is closed. They started operating under new management about a year ago, and my impression was that the new owners didn’t quite get it. They replaced the selection of hoity-toity natural sodas with Coke products, hung a “Vegetarian” neon sign in the window, and practiced the habit of hanging little neurotic notices about nothing in particular on the cash register. I had no complaints though, plenty of the old staff stayed in place that and the menu wasn’t really changed. In the last few months, they’d cut back their hours – closing at three in the afternoon and not opening at all on Tuesdays. The windows are covered with white shelf paper now. I peaked inside where one of the sheets of paper was collapsing – all of the furniture is still there – the little collection of green ceramic cats, the dishes, everything, it’s all there. There’s a legal notice on the front door which seems to indicate that one of the business partners is making some sort of claim against another (though I may be interpreting it incorrectly). That’s too bad.

The owners of Broadway Market are giving Landmark Theatres the boot in favor of a big ugly chain gym. This is simply criminal. The Broadway Market Cinema has been a key part of Landmark Theatre’s middle- to semi-high- brow antidote to the horrible monsterplexes that ave helped squeeze the life out of downtown. Big movies like O, Brother Where Art Thou or Mullholland Drive move here from Landmark’s larger theaters and enjoy months-long runs alongside uncelebrated foreign gems, like Enlightenment Guaranteed or Yi Yi. I’ll give odds that the gym throws in the towel within two years.

Eileen’s is, of course, dead as a doornail. Construction has been proceeding quietly behind the big boarded-up storefront for months. A banner was put up a couple of weeks ago introducing Broadway to “Julia’s”. Today, one of the giant plywood barriers was pushed a little to the side and I had a look at the transformation that’s taken place inside. Big airy windows, light colors, a corner entrance – nice. But I’m a bitter old man, I’m distrustful of these new places. I think I’d be happiest if that storefront remained forever boarded-up. I’d walk by and point out where the sign burned the word “Eileen’s” into the bricks above the doorway, and if you look just so, you can see where the “Ernie’s” sign apparently did the same thing years and years ago. I’d point at the plywood covering the doors and shake my head saying, “Look what they did,” not sure what accusation I’m making or who it’s targeted at.

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