Florent (restaurant)

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Coordinates: 40°44′22″N 74°00′27″W / 40.739483°N 74.007572°W / 40.739483; -74.007572 Florent was an all-night diner in the Meatpacking District of Manhattan that opened in 1985 and closed in 2008.

History[edit]

Florent was located at 69 Gansevoort Street, one of the few remaining cobblestone streets in New York City.[1] In 1985 Florent Morellet took over the R&L Restaurant, which had opened in 1943, and renamed it Florent.[2] The following January, a reporter for New York magazine referred to it as "New York's hottest downtown eating spot".[3]

Florent was a hub of gay New York. Morellet was diagnosed HIV-positive in 1987 and used to post his T-cell count on the restaurant's wall menu along with the daily specials.[2] It attracted a highly eclectic clientele.[2][4] It was also known for its Bastille Day celebrations, which started in 1989, the year of the French bicentennial.[5] Other major annual celebrations were Halloween, New Year’s Eve, and Oscar Night.[6] Morellet campaigned for the preservation of the neighborhood and became known as "Unofficial Mayor of the Meatpacking District"; he preferred "Unofficial Queen".[4]

The graphic design for the restaurant was designed by Tibor Kalman and Douglas Riccardi from M&Co, in exchange for free meals;[2][6] examples are now in the MoMA design collection.[7]

Erica De Mane, the food journalist and cookbook writer, began her cooking career at Florent in 1985.[8]

Florent closed on June 29, 2008, after the landlord raised the rent considerably.[2][9][4] In the last weeks, Morellet held five parties themed after the stages of grief.[2][9]

Films[edit]

In May 2011, Magic Lantern released Florent: Queen of the Meat Market, a documentary history of the restaurant directed by David Sigal.[10]

As of September 2015, Alan Cumming is planning to co-produce with Sigal and star in a Showtime biography of Morellet focusing on Florent.[11][12]

Notable guests[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Neighborhood Report: West Village; Shifting Shadows and the Multiple Personality of the Meatpacking District". The New York Times. February 5, 1985. Retrieved June 23, 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Loudis, Jessica (July 1, 2016). "Florent Was the Most Progressive Diner in New York". Extra Crispy. Retrieved June 23, 2017.
  3. ^ Costikyan, Barbara (January 6, 1986). "Coffee-Shop Chic". New York magazine. p. 15.
  4. ^ a b c Amsden, David (May 25, 2008). "The 25th Hour of Florent Morellet". New York magazine. Retrieved June 24, 2014.
  5. ^ "Playing In The Neighborhood". The New York Times. July 17, 1994. Retrieved June 24, 2014.
  6. ^ a b "Projects: Florent". Memo NY. Retrieved June 23, 2017.
  7. ^ "Tibor Kalman, Alexander Isley: Restaurant Florent Menu, 1985". Museum of Modern Art. Retrieved June 23, 2017.
  8. ^ "About Erica De Mane". My Mediterranean Diet (blog). October 10, 2014. Retrieved October 10, 2014.
  9. ^ a b Bruni, Frank (May 21, 2008). "Genre-Bending Hangout Takes Its Final Bows". The New York Times. Retrieved June 23, 2014.
  10. ^ McCracken, Kristin (May 18, 2011). "Florent: Queen of the Meat Market". Tribeca Film. Retrieved June 23, 2017.
  11. ^ "SundanceTV Revs Development with Projects from Alan Cumming, Todd Field, Patrick Dempsey". Variety. June 25, 2014. Retrieved June 25, 2014.
  12. ^ Snicks (September 28, 2015). "Alan Cumming To Star In New Series About Gay New York Restaurateur Florent Morellet". New Now Next. Retrieved June 24, 2017.

External links[edit]