Restaurant Florent Closes.
Before the trendy restaurants, designer boutiques, designer glass condos, new hotels, and the new high line park... Before the Apple store opened and Google opened it's NY headquarters The Meat packing district was a gritty neighborhood with cobblestone streets where sloaughterhouses packed meat and there was Florent.
Before the young wall street types, fashion and model types and bridge and tunnel wannabe "sex in the city" types discovered the neighborhood the neighborhood demographic was primarily hookers, transvestites and leather men cruising outside the long gone sex clubs and bars with names like the Lure, the Manhole and the Mineshaft.
Florent, A beloved 24 hour french style coffe shop was the original Meat Packing destination. For years there was nothing else in the neighborhood. It was the place for Steak and frites, mussels, omlettes etc. it was the place to go and the only place open in the neighborhood to get a bite late at night. It was the place to people watch. There are many fond memories of Florent, at 5am, ordering breakfast while watching the ‘fabulous' late-night New York crowd.
Florent Morellet, the owner of Florent is known as the Unofficial Mayor of the Meat Packing District. Florent a neighborhood activist, an HIV/aids activist and a gay rights activist fought for the integrity of the neighborhood. Florent put the gritty and now glamorous neighborhood on the map. Thanks to his efforts the neighborhood is now a historic district. His annual Bastille Day party in front of the restaurant on Gansevoort street was always a fun event.
"Basically, if you took the show Cheers and made it a million times more fabulous, a million times more unique, and a million times more offbeat, then you'd have Florent," says Christine Quinn, the speaker of the New York City Council who, two years ago, served with Florent Morellet as co-marshals of the gay-pride parade. "In Cheers everybody knew your name, right? Well, in Florent, everyone knows your name and your drag name."
Farewell Florent, we wish you well. Thank you for the fun times, good food and great people.