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Anyone who knows the Rue Lafayette café knows owner Araceli Kopiloff and her Boston Terrier, Bella (at left), always on the premises and often in pearls. If you like dogs you have to marvel at how Kopiloff dotes on her little gal, including the frittata that the Rue staff cooks up for Bella each a.m.
It is with a heavy heart that we bid adieu to these splendid ladies, who will continue to haunt the environs in some fashion, but no longer at Kopiloff’s Francophile café, which has closed – for now.
The long story short is that Kopiloff and her husband are in the middle of a divorce and Rue Lafayette is a bone of contention.
On her Facebook page, Kopiloff (right) has posted:
“Here is the E True Hollywood story: due to divorce Rue had to close (not my choice) there is a chance it may go on with new management. If it does, stand behind it 110%. Great people. They will keep the name and format. They love the bands and Bella and I will be involved in some level. But...if they don't, Rue will be closed forever. As for me, this wasn't my last weekend and it will be closed until we find out if this new deal will be made. I hope it is because I put all of my heart into it. Keep your fingers crossed.”
In an interview with Relish, Kopiloff confided that she has attempted a variety of measures to keep Rue Lafayette open, including selling the business to a third party, but no agreement has yet been reached.
For the last month or more, the café’s hours of business had been reduced to the weekends. Employees had also been warned for some time, said Kopiloff, that they should look for work elsewhere because of the continuing inability to reach an agreement on who, going forward, would run the business.
In its three years of operation, the café (below) became known for doughy croissants imported from Paris, booze-spiked hot chocolate, the small antiques-shop annex with seating for patrons, concerts featuring nostalgic swing acts like Miss Jubilee, weekend brunches, and the charming Kopiloff holding court – with Bella – at the front of the house.
More as we learn it.