Save Bonbonniere in NYC

La Bonbonniere, the beloved and age-old coffee shop on 8th ave between 12th and Jane in NYC, needs help to survive the shutdown of the city during the pandemic. The owners and staff at Bonbonniere work seven days a week, 365 days a year. I’m not kidding. They were open on 9/11, during all of the Sandy blackout (kerosene lamps on the counter), on Christmas Day and New Years Day and every other damn day. Marina (Peruvian) and Gus (Greek) have owned this French-named American coffee shop for a long time. Marina told me that this year she decided she needed to slow down a little, so she worked a half day and then went to the beach... for the first time. 40 years in New York and this was her first beach day, because, she said, “I work hard.”

Bonbonniere is in peril. They don’t exist online, they only have a pay phone, the don’t do seamless or caviar delivery or whatever else. Bonbonniere is older than all that. It’s a real place where you go and eat eggs and pay cash money.

Maybe you’ve eaten there? Then it’s likely they refilled your coffee many times, they served your food impossibly fast, they tallied your bill in their heads. They operate at New York speed at Bonbonniere, even on busy days you don’t wait long to sit down because they turn the tables quick. The French toast is made with challah and is the finest in the world, ask anyone. They hide the real maple syrup behind the counter, you have to ask. Bonbonniere is one of the last of its kind, an unassuming treasure.  

Right now it’s just the owners, Marina and Gus, working seven days, all the boys have been sent home, and they’re pulling in nothing, maybe $120 a day, trying to keep it alive. When the city reopens, what will the city be, without a place like Bonbonniere? If Bonbonniere is gone when we’re all back in business and hungry for lunch, then what has New York become? 

The fate of a coffee shop is small drama compared to the struggle many are facing. But if you’ve been there, and if a place like Bonbonniere makes New York feel like home to you, please cough it up (but don’t cough) and spread the word.

Donations ()

  • Anonymous 
    • $500 
    • 4 d
  • Jeff Jacobs  
    • $50 
    • 5 d
  • Anonymous 
    • $699 
    • 7 d
  • Michael Neiberg 
    • $20 
    • 9 d
  • Anonymous 
    • $50 
    • 9 d
See all

Organizer and beneficiary

Gabriel Nussbaum 
Organizer
New York, NY
Costas Maroulletis 
Beneficiary
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