May 1, 2012
Hakim, age 83, died yesterday and got a lovely obit in the TIMES, recalling his place in the storied block's history as well as his stand against the gentrification which ultimately took his business in 1997 and changed 42nd Street into a corporate playground. When Fred took ill last week, Jeremiah's Vanishing New York ran a lengthy post with photos (by Richard Estes) and video of the Luncheonette from back in the 90's just before it was closed. The video is especially beautiful with it's grainy quality and the utter lack of tourists!
Hakim said that the closing was ultimately a stroke of great luck as the theatre itself collapsed just a few weeks after his departure due to a combination of demolition work next door and high winds. Anyway, I will always remember him standing in the window and slinging dogs in this quaint relic of long gone era.