What remains of a Gansevoort Street restaurant

In 1938, the short, unremarkable building at 69 Gansevoort Street was home to R & L Lunch—a luncheonette that I imagine primarily fed the men who worked in the Meatpacking District (but hey, ladies invited, per the sign!).

Forty-seven years later, Florent Morellet turned what became R & L Restaurant into Florent, the legendary 24-hour haunt of late nighters, club kids, sex workers, and New Yorkers who enjoyed eating brunch in a place that often felt like a party.

Below, Florent in the mid to late 1980s; note the pink neon Florent sign in the window.

Florent closed in 2008. The space housed a couple of short-lived restaurants, if I remember correctly, and now this time capsule of a storefront has recently transformed into a branch of a national fashion chain.

At least they kept that wonderful aluminum sign, which these days is one of the last authentic pieces of the days when the Meatpacking District actually was home to meatpacking plants.

[Top photo: Sol Libsohn via Jeremiah’s Vanishing New York; second photo: New York City Department of Records Photo Gallery]

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3 Responses to “What remains of a Gansevoort Street restaurant”

  1. Zoe Says:

    I loved all those little luncheonettes all over the City. One (near my school & near Cedars of Lebanon) in the East 30s had sardine sandwiches on rye. (That’s all: whole sardines & sliced onions). They all had amazing egg creams. (‘All’ meaning the places I knew!). And great ice coffee to go in summer.

    The whole city feels overdesigned now. Including most of the places to eat. Plus the old comedic deli man making jokes during the entire transaction from behind the counter is a thing of the past. (On the LES if you just said ‘deli man jokes’ everyone knew what you meant).

  2. dontbringlulubook Says:

    enjoyable post – thanks.

  3. Two men, an el train, and a produce market in a 1945 mystery painting | Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] could that curved track run farther up Ninth Avenue beside what’s still known as the Meatpacking District (above in 1938)—a 19th century wholesale market that by the 1940s primarily handled meat and […]

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