The dead will rise again. One week after seemingly closing for good, downtown Cajun restaurant Great Jones Cafe will reportedly reopen tonight. The owners posted a Facebook status yesterday, writing that “reports of our demise were greatly exaggerated,” and that, after a week off, the restaurant will reopen tonight at 5 p.m.
Employees had told DNAinfo last Wednesday night, the rumored last service, that the closing was not certain, and that a decision would be made after a week off. Still, co-founder Phil Hartman’s daughter posted a “good-bye” to the restaurant on her Instagram (as did many customers). Various rumors were floated as explanations for the closing, including that the restaurant would be replaced by something higher-end.
Maybe it was the response that ensured the reopening: The report of the Cafe’s closing caused a lot of downtown hoopla, with droves of fans heading out for one last dinner or drink. The restaurant was an unassuming place, but in weathering gentrification, it’s come to stand out in a sea of upscale restaurants and ludicrously expensive apartments. It was also, if never as loudly or brashly as other spots in the Lower East Side and East Village, intimately tied up in the neighborhood’s music and cultural history. (Pavement and Sonic Youth bassist Mark Ibold served drinks here.) In any case, the restaurant is, against all odds, back in action. If you don’t have plans tonight, maybe go eat some gumbo?