Restaurant that retains its 1950s aura and welcomes Gay community
Gracious, Florentine-born Fedora Dorato is 86 years old and has been operating her restaurant for 52 years. She and her husband Henry (now deceased) have always welcomed the gay community and the dining room is filled with regulars whom she calls her "friends" (and indeed they are), many of whom have been eating there since the pre-Stonewall era. Every night at about eight Fedora enters the room and receives applause. After greeting her guests she rolls up her sleeves and tends bar.
Fedora's is a rare piece of the Old New York that is disappearing so fast. The walls are covered with family and friend's photos and memorabilia and cartoons and caricatures done by patrons celebrating the establishment. There are always fresh flowers on her tables. In fact, the room has the look of a still-life in red and pink.
This basement restaurant is a place that hasn't changed one iota since the 1950s and has many remnants of earlier decades inside and out. (Check out the old porcelain urinal in the men's room which looks like a bathtub on its side.) In its first incarnation it belonged to her father-in-law and was called "Charlie's Garden." (June 2007)