Saturday, April 17, 2010
Café des Artistes Closes After 92 Years
Café des Artistes, one of New York's most theatrical, romantic and historic restaurants, has closed. Café des Artistes was at One West 67th Street in Manhattan and was made famous by the murals painted by Howard Chandler Christy. There are six panels of wood nymphs and other Christy works on display include paintings such as The Parrot Girl, The Swing Girl, Ponce De Leon, Fall, Spring, and the Fountain of Youth.
The restaurant opened in 1917 and Howard Chandler Christy, one of the artists who lived in the apartment building above, in the Hotel des Artistes, began painting its now famous murals in 1934. Howard Christy had a way of painting women, much like the “Gibson Girls,” and around World War I, it was quite a bit of fame to be one of the “Christy Girls.”
George and Jenifer Lang, who have owned it since 1975, said they had closed for vacation earlier this month and had planned on reopening in September, but changed their minds.
“George Lang is 85 years old,” said Ms. Lang, who is also the restaurant's general manager. She went onto say, “Business has been down, not terrible, but down, like everybody else's, and we feel it's time,''
Ms. Lang said she did not know what would become of the cafe. The name is owned by the building's owners.