After months of anticipation, fans of The Golden Girls can finally pour one out for late actress Rue McClanahan (who played sultry Southern belle Blanche Devereaux) and the rest of her senior gang at New York City’s brand-new Rue La Rue Café. Plans for the Girls-themed eatery were first announced last summer; now, The New York Times reports, the establishment has finally opened its doors to the public.
Proprietor Michael J. LaRue was close with McClanahan (she used to joke that the two should get married so she could be named Rue LaRue), and when the actress died, LaRue became executor of her estate. McClanahan had wanted her personal items to be available for fans, so LaRue decided to honor his friend's memory by opening a restaurant that’s equal parts neighborhood café and pop culture museum.
Located in Manhattan’s Washington Heights section (where LaRue is a longtime resident), the café’s walls are lined with pictures of McClanahan, her co-stars, and even her six husbands. Inside, the actress’s evening gowns and her 1987 Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series are on display; outside the restaurant, there’s a sidewalk plaque emblazoned with McClanahan’s name and the opening lyrics of The Golden Girls's theme song, “Thank You for Being a Friend." (Some of the star's ashes are buried underneath the memorial.)
As for food, there’s naturally cheesecake, along with recipes favored by cast members (including Betty White’s angel food cake, Bea Arthur’s chutney) and dishes referenced on the show, like Sophia’s lasagna al forno. And of course, the restaurant’s name—“Rue La Rue”—references LaRue’s inside joke with his beloved friend.
Rue La Rue hasn’t celebrated its official grand opening quite yet, but its soft launch was announced last week; business hours are currently 7:30 a.m. until 7:30 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday. Learn more about the restaurant by visiting its Facebook page, and check out some photos below.
[h/t The New York Times]