The iconic scene that gave the 1961 movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s its name took place outside the famous building on the corner of 57th and Fifth Avenue, in New York City. It is a sepia-toned sunrise, and a lone yellow cab pulls up in front of the landmark. Audrey Hepburn, as Holly Golightly, steps out wearing a sleeveless black Givenchy gown (designed especially for her slender frame), a thick strand of pearls, and black evening gloves.
The song “Moon River” plays in the background as Hepburn peers into the store’s windows, and we see the reflection of her narrow shoulders, oversize sunglasses, and upswept hair accessorized with a tiny diamond tiara. The Fifth Avenue store became the flagship store in 1940, but you couldn’t actually have breakfast at Tiffany’s.
In November, Tiffany’s opened a restaurant on the fourth floor called, appropriately enough, Blue Box Café. It seems like such an obvious brand extension, the only question is, What took so long?
Shoppers at Tiffany’s know that the little blue box with its perfectly tied white ribbon is synonymous with luxurious indulgence and upper-class privilege.
While other retailers struggle with declining sales along this prestigious shopping stretch of Fifth Avenue, from 43rd street to 60th street, it makes sense for a legacy brand like Tiffany to try to capitalize on the enduring nostalgia that the romantic comedy and its glamorous pixie star represent.
The fourth floor of the iconic building was recently and extensively renovated and includes a Home & Accessories collection of carefully crafted “everyday” items, vintage books, and perfumery. “The space is experimental and experiential–a window into the new Tiffany,” Reed Krakoff, who became the chief artistic officer of Tiffany & Co in January, said in a statement. It reflects a “modern luxury experience.”
The Blue Box Café, neatly tucked into a corner of the fourth floor, maximizes its space with a bank of windows offering sweeping views of Central Park to the north. The classic robin’s egg blue touches everything: blue banquettes line the walls. Blue leather chairs group around zinc-topped tables, atop which sit Krakoff-designed plates dipped in blue glaze and blue salt-and-pepper shakers.
Breakfast at Tiffany’s goes for the luxurious price of $29 and includes a croissant, coffee (or tea), fruit, and an elegant protein choice (smoked salmon, avocado toast, truffle eggs). If you’re feeling especially festive, you can even order a blue box cake with a white ribbon ($36).
While Audrey Hepburn’s turn as the naïve socialite Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany’s is probably her most memorable role, she was in fact not the first choice for the part. The demonstrative and opinionated Truman Capote, who wrote the novel on which the romantic comedy is based, wanted Marilyn Monroe. When she turned down the part, on the advice of her agent, he felt bitterly that Hepburn wouldn’t be able to carry the part opposite her co-star, George Peppard.
Another startling fact: Producers wanted to kill the song “Moon River” that accompanies the famous opening scene. Hepburn’s insistence they keep it turned out to be prescient. The Henry Mancini and Johnny Mercer song won an Academy Award for Best Original Song and the 1962 Grammy Award for Best Song of the Year. The movie also won an Academy Award for Best Original Score.
The Blue Box Café is predictably an already popular tourist destination, requiring reservations and patience to visit. No longer will young women have to nibble croissants outside the famous granite building with gleaming plate-glass windows to fulfill their Holly Golightly fantasies. The wait to get to the fourth floor will be well worth it.