Florent Closes: End of an Era in The Meat Packing District:

By
Real Estate Agent with Compass

 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.

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Ambassador
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Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Mitch, so I guess I won't be eating mussels there next week!  Oh, boo!  And I was busy trying to come up with a drag name. 

Jun 29, 2008 01:35 AM #1
Rainmaker
597,751
Mitchell J Hall
Compass - Manhattan, NY
Lic Associate RE Broker - Manhattan & Brooklyn

Hi Pat, I was just going to send you an email. I will be around next weekend so I would love to get together. Have you ever been to Florent?

Jun 29, 2008 01:38 AM #2
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Lizette Fitzpatrick
Lizette Realty - Richmond KY - Lexington, KY
Lizette Realty, Lexington KY MLS - Kentucky Homes

Hi Mitch! Sad when great places like this close. Wish I could have visited it when I was in NYC last. At least you gave it a fabulous review that will live forever on the Internet!

Jun 29, 2008 02:25 AM #3
Rainmaker
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Mitchell J Hall
Compass - Manhattan, NY
Lic Associate RE Broker - Manhattan & Brooklyn

Hi Lizette, Thanks for stopping by. It is sad, now that the neighborhood is so "hot" his landlord raised his rent to over $30,000 per month.

Jun 29, 2008 02:53 AM #4
Rainer
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Anthony Clark
Clark Partners - Fayetteville, AR
Real Estate. It's About Lifestyle!

Mitchell  It sounds like a great loss for the neighborhood, but I am sure its patrons have many memories that will last forever.  Great tribute!

Jun 29, 2008 06:11 AM #5
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Mitchell J Hall
Compass - Manhattan, NY
Lic Associate RE Broker - Manhattan & Brooklyn

Anthony, Thanks for stopping by. You're right neighborhoods change but memories last forever.

Jun 29, 2008 09:42 AM #6
Rainmaker
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Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

Mitchell, I'm sorry I missed this place completely but I feel your attachment to it....and it sounds fabulous.  I miss many places in the City that are now gone, I even miss the Fulton Fish Market!

Jun 29, 2008 12:34 PM #7
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Mitchell J Hall
Compass - Manhattan, NY
Lic Associate RE Broker - Manhattan & Brooklyn

Hi Carole, It was one of those great New York places that will be missed.

Jun 30, 2008 12:22 AM #8
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Mitchell J Hall

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