Schrafft’s/Lone Star Cafe building sold for $15 million

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The former home of a Schrafft’s restaurant and the Lone Star Cafe near Washington Square Park has sold for $15 million, according to city records. The asking price for the 25,000-square-foot property at 61 Fifth Avenue was $17.5 million. The building, extensively damaged by a fire in 2006, has been vacant for years, following a history of colorful tenants.
In 1938, Schrafft’s tore down the original Dutch building that was part of the Breevort estate. In the 1980s, a Texan club called the Lone Star Cafe, featuring a large iguana on the roof, became a New York outpost for country music. The musician Kinky Friedman, who later became a novelist and ran for governor of Texas, recorded “Live From The Lone Star Cafe” in 1982 and put the café at the center of a novel, “A Case of Lone Star.”
The future of the building, where the last tenant was Cafe 61, remains unclear. Massey Knakal, which brokered the sale, marketed the building as one that isn’t a designated landmark or located in a historic district, making it prime property for a new luxury condominium or retail space. Elrod Realty Corp. sold the building to a buyer listed on the deed as Changes, Inc. of Glendale. TRD

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