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Masten Lake's Shutter and the Demise of Williamsburg

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If there's one thing commenters here and on sister site Curbed like to do, it's discuss the viability of the real estate market and restaurant scene in Williamsburg. And so it comes as no major surprise that yesterday's piece on the sudden and untimely shutter of ambitious seven month-old Williamsburg restaurant Masten Lake yielded over 80 comments, almost immediately.

Does it signal the demise of the neighborhood? Can PBR-loving skinny jean-wearing hipsters support ambitions of a serious restaurant? Is the mainstream media to blame for ignoring places like this while running one star slams of burger chains? Is it all Meatball Shop's fault? It's hard to say, but we've compiled the best nine comments from the thread below.

1) It's the media's fault: "Easily the best restaurant in the neighborhood. I am in shock right now, i mean we knew it wasn't packed, but the food was crazy good. One solid review from NY Mag or NY Times would have flooded the place but I guess they somehow got looked over by everyone walking to the Meatball shop. Sad sad sad."

2) It was a PR problem: "This is why even food trucks have PR in this town - so much noise, so many openings, so hard to get people's attention. At least PR packs them in right from the start, word of mouth takes long. It's just not enough to do a good job, serve good food and they will find you - often they don't. Sad."

3) It's an intrinsic Williamsburg problem: "Williamsburg suffers from an oversupply of new restaurants and not enough hipsters willing to spend the cash to fill up the tables on mon-wed nights. Seriously, do you see a kid in skinny jeans and a handlebar moustache willing to fork over $50 for a bottle of Cotes du Rhone??? Don't think so when PBR cans are readily available everywhere on the cheap."

4) It's actually not that big of a deal: "Williamsburg could lose half its restaurants tomorrow and still have more restaurants than most neighborhoods in the city. There is a glut. Restaurants close all the time, if you think this represents a meta trend you are not familiar with the business."

5) It was Masten Lake's own damn fault: "Masten Lake was pretentious overpriced food. I have lived in this area for 10 years and all I want is some simple no fuss restaurants. ISA will close too. Same goes for any new Tapas restaurant."

6) What about real estate prices???: "I don't know about real estate prices being affected, but I do think that if a number of the high profile places continue to close that the younger, trendier people will continue to move elsewhere. That won't necessarily do anything to real estate prices, but it will speed up the gentrification from artist enclave to Murray Hill east."

7) The pessimistic take: "So these places have closed recently: Pillar & Plough, Masten Lake, Fatty Cue, Motorino, (might as well Fiore). The new places doing great: Meatball Shop, Crif Dog, Vanessa's dumplings, Mable's. Do you see a pattern here? Williamsburg likes cheap, unrefined food, knocked off mostly from Manhattan.

8) The optimistic take: "Loved Masten Lake and will miss it. Don't feel the need to participate in the anti-Williamsburg hate that continues on this site. There is still plenty of great food in the hood, which i will continue to support."

9) And scene: "Williamsburger residents get called out because you are all a bunch of hater shitbird twat snufflers who can't wait to pounce on any micro news about the neighborhood to validate your self worth which is apparently tied solely to the ability to experience schadenfreude vis a vis Williamsburg. So we get pages of dumb comments about how residents of one neighborhood lack the refined taste attributed to those of Cobble Hillians or the femdads of Park Slop or whatever dumb neighborhood said commenter lives in."
· Williamsburg's Masten Lake Closes After Seven Months [~ENY~]

Masten Lake

285 Bedford Ave., Brooklyn NY

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