Any peckish fans of “The Golden Girls” who happen to be in New York City and feel the urge to grab a bite now have a place to go where they can satiate both their hunger and their fandom for the universally beloved 1980s sitcom.
A new restaurant in Washington Heights serves as an homage to Blanche (Rue McClanahan), Dorothy (Bea Arthur), Rose (Betty White) and Sophia (Estelle Getty): The Rue La Rue Cafe, a new eatery that boasts the motto: “Thank you for being a friend.”
According to the New York Times, the cafe is the brainchild of Michael LaRue, who was a close friend of “Golden Girls” star Rue McClanahan until her death in 2010, and now manages her estate.
That estate includes a huge collection of “Golden Girls” memorabilia which he plans to display at the restaurant on a rotating basis, making The Rue La Rue Cafe as much of a “Golden Girls” museum as a restaurant.
“She was a very talented actress, but better than that, she was a wonderful friend,” LaRue tells CNN. “She was a loving, kind, generous person and I’m really honoured to be able to do this little bit to keep her legacy alive.”
LaRue also shares a sweet story with the Times about the friendship between McClanahan and co-star Betty White.
“She would call and say, ‘Can I talk to Ruesy?’” recalls LaRue. “One day, right before the stroke, do you know what they were talking about? Ryan Reynolds. Betty was in that movie ‘The Proposal,’ and Rue’s in the hospital, like, ‘Who’s that young man? He’s delicious.’ She was boy-crazy up until the last minute of her life.”
LaRue also discusses the show’s enduring popularity, which continues to resonate with each new generation that views it.
“There’s never a time when ‘The Golden Girls’ is not playing on this globe,” LaRue tells the Times. “It taps into something that we all share as human beings — a fear that as we age we’re going to become irrelevant and alone. The show is a tonic for that fear. It says you can still look good and have sex and have a very full life, with friends.”
LaRue adds: “I once asked Rue why she got married so often, and she said, ‘I don’t want to die alone.’ And she didn’t; I was there, holding her. I was able to look in her eyes and tell her, ‘Everything’s going to be O.K., you have nothing to worry about.’”
LaRue tells the Times, “I still miss her,” adding of the cafe: “But she would love this.”