For 42 years West Bank Cafe has been a popular theater district haunt. It has been a launching pad for countless musicians, actors, comedians, and writers, a “must visit” for tourists, a “go to” for locals, and a perfect spot for a business meeting, a pre-theater meal, or after show drinks with friends.
If you are part of the theater/cabaret community, West Bank Cafe has been a part of your life and your story. That’s because of Steve and his crew, it isn't a business, it's a family. And they have made us all feel like family for decades. Now is the time to for the family to come together and make sure this magical place is still there when the dust of this global nightmare settles.
There are very few places left in New York, that we can whole heartedly trust with our career and life milestones, the way we have always trusted the crew at West Bank Cafe. So many of us have celebrated birthdays, weddings, opening nights, closing nights, Tony wins, Tony losses, and everything in between. It is our safe place to pitch our big ideas to that big investor, because we know when we bring someone to West bank Cafe they will be treated like a VIP. That’s because everyone is treated like a VIP when they walk through those doors.
This business is being hit twice as hard, because it is not only a beloved restaurant and bar, but it is also home to The Laurie Beechman Theater - a warm and inviting space where we have all had the pleasure of enjoying some of New York’s finest talents. And, as a performer, whether you are making your NYC debut, or you are an EGOT winner, you are treated like a star. So many milestones have happened at The Laurie Beechman. It is the stage where Joan Rivers performed her final set. It is the room where the original cast of Sunday in the Park With George rehearsed. It is where the Tony Award winning play Sideman debuted, where Aaron Sorkin's first two works were produced, not to mention the countless Oscar, Grammy, Emmy, Tony, and MAC award winning artists that have graced the stage over the decades. So many stars have been born at the Laurie Beechman Theater, as recently as this winter, when LBT regular Jackie Cox made history as a finalist on Ru Paul's Drag Race.
I keep thinking of “It's A Wonderful Life”. I think many would agree that our lives would be worse off if Steve Olsen hadn't given so many of us an inviting place to gather and create for all these years. This is Steve's George Bailey moment. Let's prove "that no man is a failure who has friends".
We are New Yorkers, there is nothing we can't achieve when we work together!
Let's save our beloved West Bank Cafe!
- Donalee Katz
- David Esbjornson
- CJ Simpson
- Shirley Ritenour
- robyn Goodman
Organizer and beneficiary
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