An Elegy for an Old Friend. Coogan's.
When Coogan’s opened its doors in 1985, its first customer, or maybe its second, wandered in, took a look around, and never left. Its unpretentious wooden tables and wallpaper of photographs of politicians, police officers, actors, and neighborhood locals; a stalwart menu of Irish fare including French crepes, matzoh ball soup, and the world’s smallest sundae named after Olympic champion runner Eamonn Coughlin who was tall and fast; and three genial owners who, in the grand Irish tradition of never having met a stranger, welcomed him into their household, and he was home. Whether Steve Simon was the first or second customer has been debated for 35 years and will be debated for many more to come. But one thing is certain: he was their final customer, arriving on March 16, 2020 in time to beat the 8 pm citywide mandated restaurant closing, and ate the last supper before the coronavirus ended Coogan’s’ illustrious run.
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