Never had coffee at the Big Cup, but I first met a long-lost friend (where are you P*ng?!) there before hanging out to discuss his first film and life in general.
...[T]he coffeehouse, which employees nicknamed Gay Grand Central, a place where many men found a welcome introduction to gay life, was closing, the victim of rising rents. Modeled after the coffee shops of the West Coast, the shop, on Eighth Avenue just south of 22nd Street, offered a casual place for gay men to socialize. Women and straight men were welcome too, but as a review once put it, "They just seem sort of irrelevant." Employees seemed to be half barista, half party host.
On weeknights, music and crowds would fill the airy room and spill onto the sidewalk. Teenagers too young for the bars could find kindred spirits, and Big Cup gained a reputation as a place to cruise gay men. After it was featured in guidebooks, tourists and new arrivals to the city went there in search of Chelsea's lively gay scene.
This week, the chalkboard sign out front that usually advertises cappuccinos and iced mochas had a different announcement. "Attention," it read, "Big Cup is closing." Sunday will be the last day of business.
Posted by ronn at August 28, 2005 10:02 AM