Save the Pink Tea Cup

Team Tea Cup tries to save the day

By Victoria Cavaliere
|  Wednesday, Dec 16, 2009  |  Updated 4:16 PM EDT
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The Pink Tea Cup, the Village's 55 year-old soul-food staple, might be saved from extinction if its loyal patrons and other big-hearted New Yorkers pitch in during a fundraiser slated for the day the restaurant is due to close.

On Jan. 3  the Team Tea Cup will try to raise $100,000 -- an amount that would allow current manager Vincent Pinkney to purchase the business from owner Lisa Ford, Grub Street reported today. The fundraiser will be held in the restaurant at 42 Grove Street.

Citing rent hikes and a decline in business,  Ford said the overwhelming cost of operating the small restaurant in the expensive neighborhood was forcing her to shut down.

Known for serving mammoth portions for a low price day and night, the Pink Tea Cup has been a spot for locals, celebs and tourists alike.

Opened by Florida native Mary Raye in 1954, the restaurant was taken over by her husband Charles in 1979, moved to its final location in '82 and then given to her niece and grandniece, Ford, in 1989. 

"The whole idea of soul food is a lot of food for a little money, so you don’t want to charge all these crazy amounts," Ford told Grub Street last week. "But that’s what you need to do."

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