When I reviewed The Writing Room in October 2019, I headlined my writeup “Ghost of Elaine’s,” a nod to the legendary Second Avenue haunt that had been a second home to Woody Allen, Marlon Brando, and other celebs. The difference between Elaine’s and its successor was that Elaine’s was a scene, while The Writing Room was a restaurant. Much of the food was good, especially the pastas, and the gestures toward the writing profession — the vintage typewriters, the black-and-white photos of Elaine’s more celebrated customers — were a harmless reminder of a lost era.
Now, sadly, “Elaine’s” has given up the ghost a second time. The Writing Room closed last September, a victim of the COVID pandemic. What makes the restaurant’s passing especially lamentable was that it served the community well for nearly seven years, earning it a well-deserved last laugh over Elaine’s loyalists, who were skeptical that another eatery could ever grow where Elaine’s had lived.
It will be interesting to see what (who?) comes in next.