Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Another Era Ends

This was supposed to be posted Monday. However, a visit from my former neighbor led to a long dinner and two bottles of wine. 'Nuff said.... ~ Pato

I don't normally eavesdrop on my neighbors, but Mr P next door is a little hard of hearing and thus has his TV and answering machine at top level. I had just come down the elevator and was opening the door to my little office which is next to his door when I heard the familiar voice of our across the street neighbor Angela:

"They closed it", she exclaimed, "he closed the restaurant... just like that. Call me."

I called Angela in disbelief...

"Angela, they closed Nichols???"
"Yes, it is true, they called a staff meeting for today and said when they closed the doors on Sunday eve, that was it. No notice, no party, no nothing."

Nichols Lunch, the greasy-iest of greasy spoon diners, open 24 hours except Sunday late eve and Mondays closed for good after being in operation since 1921.

Located at 39th and Southwest Trafficway, Nichols was home to locals, retired folks, rich and poor, drag queens from the next door drag bar, and other colorful characters. Eggs and toast for breakfast, a hamburger after the late shift or coffee and pancakes after a night of bar hopping, Nichols Lunch was always there. Sometimes the more well heeled would refer to it as "Cafe Nicole" or in the evening "Chez Nicole". My neighbor who thinks nothing of jetting off to Boston or New Orleans to eat, had breakfast there almost every morning.

There were signs, Angela said, that the end was near. "He was not fixing anything, the place needed work and nothing was being done."

Rumor abounds that the gay bar Missie B's is expanding, the owner of Nichols Michael Bay owns the building so that is possible.

Whatever the case, another institution like the Brookside Dime Store has bit the dust. Is the Town Topic or Bryant's BBQ next??

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