The Village Den was a West Village, New York iconic queer spot when it closed in May after 36 glorious years.
It was the place where generations of gay men retreated for a cheeseburger after the dozens of nearby gay bars and clubs closed. Or where they flocked the next morning for a greasy breakfast, otherwise known as a hangover cure. It was never about the food, which was nothing special. It was about community. We came on dates, we brought our tricks, we came to flirt with each other and the sexy waiters and, more generally, just to enjoy the safety and security of what has become a dying breed: the gay diner.
Enter Queer Eye‘s Antoni Porowski with a plan for “fast-casual reboot” of the classic diner at the location. Let’s hope Antoni brings more than just a fancy new menu: the place could use the open-minded and generous spirit of Netflix’s Queer Eye reboot and not the spiritless, hugely expensive tourist traps that have come to dominate the formerly queer, low-brow haven of the West Village.
He’s done everything in the food business from busboy to sommelier to chef, so he’s got the qualifications. He’s shown a great deal of creativity on the show, so there’s no reason he will shrink from the legacy of his predecessor. Antoni, keep it queer.
If nothing else, the food will be better.