Ithaca Blog

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

ABC Cafe To Close?

Expatriates of Ithaca might not have gotten the news, reported on the front page of the Ithaca Journal yesterday, that the ABC Cafe, the venerable vegetarian place on Stewart Avenue, may be closing in June.

The ABC opened in 1980. It undertook a major expansion in 1999, and took on two new partners in the past year. Despite these developments, and a longstanding, gritty determination to survive, it seems the end is near.

It's a shame, of course, when any beloved business closes, but this one particularly hurts. The Moosewood is better known, but the ABC is probably the most resolutely Ithacan of eateries, with its Orthodox vegetarianism, international menu, and sense of easy anarchy, from the mismatched tables and chairs to the varied entertainment.

We think it was Hemingway who described the process of going broke as one that happens slowly, then all at once. President Obama has said that things are going to get worse before they get better. The possible - or likely - closing of the ABC seems an example of both.

Steve Burke
for Ithaca Blog

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