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21 Club at 21 West 52nd Street (Photo via Wikipedia Commons; Getty)

Optimists say New York City will be back, but its iconic 21 Club will not — at least not the way it was.

After more than 90 years, the restaurant and social club is closing. All 148 of its employees will be laid off as of early March, according to the New York Post. The eatery, with 10 private dining rooms, had been shuttered temporarily since the coronavirus pandemic struck in early March.

“In light of the ongoing global crisis and anticipated extended recovery period for the hospitality industry, the difficult decision has been made that it will not be feasible to reopen 21 Club in its current form for the foreseeable future,” the representative told the newspaper.

However, the closure may not be permanent, according to a representative for the restaurant.

“The company is exploring potential opportunities that will allow 21 Club to remain a viable operation in the long term, while retaining its distinctive character,” a spokesperson told The Post.

The restaurant has been frequented by celebrities over the years including John Steinbeck, Ernest Hemingway and Frank Sinatra, and has been visited by every president dating back to Franklin Delano Roosevelt except George W. Bush.

[NY Post] — Sasha Jones

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