Lucky Cheng’s Owner and Nightlife Pioneer Hayne Suthon Has Died

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Hayne Suthon, in 2008. Photo: Patrick McMullan

Steve Lewis writes that Hayne Suthon, the longtime proprietor of Lucky Cheng's, has died this week after a long bout with cancer. In 1988, the New Orleans native turned a former gay bathhouse at 24 First Avenue into a raucous, voluminous establishment called Cave Canem, Latin for "beware of the dog." The then-31-year-old cleaned up the old tile-walled steam rooms and installed a well-known chef in the kitchen, whose garum- and pheasant-heavy menu cribbed from a cookbook written by Apicus in 87 AD, New York reported. When Lucky Cheng's opened in the same space in 1993, the drag-queen-filled establishment quickly became the city's de facto destination for roving bachelorette parties. It thrived until 2012, when it moved to Times Square, offering a neighborhood-parred experience diplomatically described as more "family-friendly." Lewis writes "its hard to imagine it without Hayne, without that twinkle in her eye." [BlackBook]