Some sad news today: Hayne Suthon, the owner and operator of restaurant/drag club Lucky Cheng's, has passed away. Her longtime friend Steve Lewis shares the news on Blackbook, along with a brief history of her career operating restaurants and clubs in New York. Lewis notes that Suthon died after a battle with cancer.
Ms. Suthon began her life as a New York restaurateur in the 1980s, with the opening of Cave Canem, a splashy Roman-themed restaurant on First Avenue between First and Second streets. Lewis writes: "It was almost an orgy and there was plenty of that if you knew who to know." Suthon turned that space into Lucky Cheng's in 1993, and it quickly became a popular place for bachelorette parties.
The restaurateur moved Lucky Cheng's to Midtown in 2012, and she sold the space to the team behind Pride & Joy BBQ. That restaurant never came to fruition, and the owners tried to sue Suthon last year after she attempted to evict them. No word yet on whether she was able to resolve that issue, but Lewis writes: "She was having trouble with her tenant and it wore on her."
One of her fans, drag queen Linda Simpson, notes that she was "NYC's #1 employer of DQs and trans girls." For more on the legacy of Lucky Cheng's, check out Jeremiah Moss's blog post about its history. The new iteration of the restaurant is still open near Times Square.
· Lucky Cheng's Owner Hayne Suthon Passes [BB]
· All Coverage of Hayne Suthon [~ENY~]
[Photo: Hayne Suthon in the 80s via Jeremiah's Vanishing New York]