There are few guarantees in this world, but one of them is that The Golden Girls will be playing at any given time somewhere in the world. The beloved sitcom has grown even more popular nearly 25 years after Dorothy married Leslie Nielsen and rode happily off into the sunset, save for one obligatory visit to the Golden Palace.
That someone is Michael J. LaRue, best friend of Rue McClanahan (aka Blanche Elizabeth Hollingsworth Deveraux), who will open the Rue La Rue Cafe in early September on 4396 Broadway, at the appropriately named Sofia Storage Building.
La Rue, who was the executor of McClanahan's estate and administrator of her will, will decorate the restaurant in some of the belongings and showbiz memorabilia he inherited from McClanahan after her death in 2010.
LaRue said Mark Bisch, McClanahan's son, is a partner in the business venture, adding that because of his commitment to the project, the Walt Disney Company is allowing the cafe to manufacture its very own Golden Girls' merchandise -- "the only location in the world" -- using images from the television show.
"I believe I can turn this place into a mini-tourist [hub] in Washington Heights," LaRue said. "I believe the neighborhood is going to support this. I believe the population exists here already."
La Rue claims he's already lined up sole living Golden Girl Betty White for the ribbon cutting ceremony and plans to add an outdoor area (a lanai?!) next year. Hopefully he will also enforce a strict dress code of nightgowns, kimonos, and negligees while the tables will be (as in the show) only for decorative purposes, used instead for converging in the middle of the night to talk about life, love, and St. Olaf.