Elaine's Left To Long Time Manager

by Mara Siegler · January 6, 2011

    When legendary restaurateur Elaine Kaufman passed away last month, many wondered what would happen to her literary saloon and landmark establishment, Elaine's.  Wonder no longer.

    Elaine left the restaurant and most of her estate, including two five-story buildings, to her manager of 26 years, Diane Becker.  Her co-op apartment is being sold to pay estate taxes and $230,000 in bequests. A gift of $50,000 will be given to each of her four nephews and $10,000 will go to three longtime employees: the maître d’hôtel, her part-time personal secretary; and her housekeeper, reports the NY Times.

    Diane doesn't plan on changing anything at the restaurant.

    “The staff is still here, and we’re going to try to run it as usual,” she said. “The only missing link is Elaine.”

    However, Diane did divulge that other restaurateurs have been interested in the place and that Elaine was entertaining the idea during 2008's down economy, in a deal that would still include her involvement in the operation. Just who has she been talking to? “Everybody signed confidentiality agreements.”

    Any guesses?