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The Falls

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The Falls

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Address: 218 Lafayette Street (at Spring Street)
City: New York, NY
Zip: 10012
Phone: (212) 226-5233
Site: Visit the restaurant site
Map: Map
Cuisine: Burgers
2nd Cuisine: Bar Food
Area: SoHo


It's Thursday night. The tables outside are empty. People wander by. One makes the sign of the cross. But no-one stops. They just peer in and keep walking by. This is the unfortunate story of The Falls. A place that once had the city in its hip pocket, now a pariah in the eyes of many. Today I walked into The Falls. The cameras and TV crews are long gone. The protests have died down. The news shows have ended their non-stop assault. But there is still a grim reminder of something gone terribly wrong. You feel it when you walk in. I can't explain it. It's sort of like a chill. An eery presence. You can't help but think of Imette Saint Guillen, the promising co-ed, drinking at the bar... possibly her final stop before her brutal murder. A hired hand, Darryl Littlejohn, stands as the prime suspect. The bar's management, fairly or unfairly, accused of impeding the investigation. But the damage is done. One nearby storeowner told me the murder hurt business in the entire area, but that people are starting to come back. But not at The Falls, at least not yet. As I sat at the bar, three big-screen TVs broadcast a hockey game. Plenty of action on the screen, but no action inside. Not at the bar or the rear dining area. Not a single soul. So, there I sat. Alone. Just myself and the bartender who I couldn't help but feel sorry for. Our exchange went something like this. (me) Curiosity brought me in. (him) I know, why else would you be here. (me) Is it getting any better? (him) It's Thursday night, this place should be packed. Look around. It's empty. (me) Where are the regulars? (him) Slowly. People don't understand that these are our jobs. At that point things tensed up. I asked if there was any plan to change the name? He replied, "What good would that do. Everyone knows it was here." He walked away and went outside for a cigarette. There I sat. The long wooden bar bare. No laughter. No glasses clanging. And I could only wonder how long can they last? As I left, I told the bartender, I hope things work out for you. His reply, "Me too." - Thomas Rafael 3/30/06