New Yorkers may never really know which real-life locations Edward Hopper used to create his iconic Nighthawks, even when re-created as life-size pop-up installations in the Flatiron Building (an alleged site). But the owner of Classic’s Cafe in Greenwich Village has done “a lot of research” and “a lot of legal paperwork” to boot and is now sort of sure, of course, it’s his place that is depicted in the 1942 painting. So much so, in fact, he’s going to rename the place Nighthawks. Let’s do a comparison.
Fiko Uslu says he was tipped off by “a mystery man named Mark,” who stopped by Classic’s Cafe and pointed out the similarities, prompting the quest for the name change. It’s an improvement on its current name, as well as when it was the short-lived Charlemagne. Art legacy or not, “Nighthawks” is infinitely better than “seedy porn shop,” which is what the place was for decades before its recent rebirth as a restaurant.