Manhattan’s Washington Heights neighborhood is already home to such landmarks as the Sylvan Terrace and High Bridge, but starting in September, it will also feature a new café that’s fueled by nostalgia and caffeine. DNAInfo New York reports that a Golden Girls-themed eatery is set to open later this year that will offer more than cheesecake and gossip.
Michael J. LaRue is the proprietor of the Rue La Rue Café, the name of which is a portmanteau of his own name and that of his longtime friend, the late Rue McClanahan. The actress, who played the lusty Blanche Devereaux on the series, named LaRue the executor of her estate and administrator of her will, and he’s partnered with her son Mark Bisch on the new coffee spot. The café will offer wraps, salads, soups, desserts, baked goods—perhaps some of Rose’s Sperheoven Krispies?—and wine.
The Rue La Rue café will be decorated with some of McClanahan’s personal items, including her piano, which will be played on live music nights. There’s no word on whether that dinette set or any of Blanche’s wicker furniture will pop up at the café, but LaRue claims that the Walt Disney Company has given the business permission to make and sell its own Golden Girls merchandise using images from the series. It would be the “only location in the world” allowed to do so, which means fans will finally have a new source for coffee mugs and T-shirts emblazoned with Sophia’s famous putdowns, Dorothy’s caustic barbs, or maybe just a heartfelt message thanking you for being a friend—er, patron.
LaRue says he wants his new business to serve as “a mini-tourist [hub] in Washington Heights”—he believes that the “population” already exists in the neighborhood to support the café. And he’s already lined up the only surviving Golden Girl, Betty White, for the ribbon-cutting ceremony in the fall.