9/11 Museum comfort food cafe is a disgrace
If the National September 11 Memorial and Museum gets you down – all those unbearable recordings, last words for loved ones, bloody shoes and images of falling bodies – overcome it with “comfort food,” seasonal farm produce and locally made booze.
The museum which has just opened consecrates without flinching, in an unforgettable way, the horror of September 11 for future generations. But the message sent by the coffee projects above the gruesome artifacts is:
Never forget . . . to dip!
This summer, Danny Meyer’s Union Square Events will open an 80-seat Pavilion Cafe inside the museum.
When I read that there would be “New York beers on tap and American wines on tap,” I thought I had had a little too much myself.
The great restaurateur promises a “soothing” experience modeled on the “contemplative” spirit of a tea room.
But the masterminds behind the museum apparently view their cathartic masterpiece as just another cultural venue like MoMA or the Whitney, where Meyer also runs restaurants.
I can go get some tomato soup and grilled cheese after watching the Picassos for a few hours. My appetite isn’t the same after a round in hell.
Memorial/museum president Joe Daniels says such solemn sites as Gettysburg and Yad Vashem in Israel also have restaurants.
But Gettysburg was fought over 151 years ago, and Yad Vashem is not on the site where the Holocaust took place.
The 9/11 Museum is where the terror attack took place just 13 years ago – and where the remains of 1,115 unidentified victims are stored.
“We’re not doing this for gross or commercial reasons,” Meyer told me. In fact, the cafe is supposed to make money, although Meyer says he will pay the museum “significantly above market” rent and a percentage of the proceeds, but “we are not free” to discuss the terms.
But the problem is not just profit. A gift shop selling sticky Twin Towers tchotchkes is pretty inappropriate. A bar and grill of any name on top of burnt out fire trucks and human ashes is just disgusting.