Trellis has always been Roosevelt Island’s Cheers – that place where everybody knows your name.
David Kraut’s “office” at the bar. A meeting place for WIRE interviews. The HQ for after-meeting postmortems. A circumstance for hatching low-grade conspiracies. The gathering place where rumor comes and grows to branch out across the Island. A second living room for everyman. The place where – if you leave something behind – you know it’ll be there when you return.
Oh, yeah: They also served food there.
And will again, of course.
And the best coffee on the Island, Starbucks’ fame and geographic reach notwithstanding.
But now we are without Trellis, and we learn, if we did not already know, what it means to have that neighborhood gathering place.
Personally, having been here only since 1981, I’ve experienced the place primarily as the Green Kitchen, Andy’s Place, or (for 18 years now) Trellis. When it was the Green Kitchen, I always wondered why it took so long to get a check, and then I came to understand that problem when a drug raid put the place out of business virtually overnight. As Andy’s Place, it had a different face but much the same operation, always including “Ali,” the native of Bangladesh who leaves the Energizer Bunny eating trail dust.
No one misses the old decor, I suspect. Or the patched upholstery in the booths. Or the stool that has a swivel of its own eccentric creation. Or the artificial plants unvisited by pollinators, but a gathering place for dust.
No, what we will miss until there’s something different and new there is the fact that Trellis was a people-place – a gathering place where, in fact better than the Cheers fiction, everybody knows your name.