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Cafe Loup, a Lasting Fixture in NYC’s Literary Scene, Has Been Seized by the Tax Department

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Book Twitter is freaking out

Cafe Loup
Cafe Loup
Photo via Cafe Loup

Cafe Loup, a West Village bistro that’s a longstanding icon in the literary world, has been seized by the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance. As of now, it’s unclear if the closure is permanent.

According to the New York state tax system’s public records, Cafe Loup has four warrants out for unpaid taxes dating back to September of last year and totaling $241,656.67. Eater NY has reached out to the Department of Taxation and Finance, as well as Cafe Loup for more information.

The French bistro opened on 13th Street near University Place in 1977 and eventually moved just down the street to 105 West 13th St., near Sixth Avenue, in the early ’80s. It has remained a fixture in the neighborhood, particularly in the city’s literary and publishing scene. In its early years, Cafe Loup counted Paul Simon, Susan Sontag, and Paul Auster among its regulars. And it really was a place for regulars, maintaining its status as an old-fashioned writer’s hangout throughout the decades. The space is filled with charming old photographs of classic Parisian bistros and jazz stars.

The kitchen has been run by chef-owner Lloyd Feit for three decades, known for his sizable steak frites and snails smothered in garlic and gruyere, but it was considered more of a place to drink wine and strong martinis over post-work gossip versus a dining destination. The desserts were large and the pours generous, harking back to a pre-Balthazar old-school class of French restaurants.

Loyal patrons and Book Twitter have been mourning on social media in the wake of the news.

Café Loup

105 West 13th Street, Manhattan, NY 10011 (212) 255-4746 Visit Website

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