Despite all the doom and gloom about rising rents and restaurant closures, there really are way more restaurants in New York today than there were in 2006. According to the Wall Street Journal, permits for bars, cafe and restaurants rose by 27% from 2006 until now. That's an increase from 18,606 places to eat and drink to 23,705.
In Brooklyn (surprise, surprise) restaurants are opening at an even steeper rate than in Manhattan. In 2009 there were 5,151 restaurants (not counting bars and cafes, which were included in that total count above), and now there are 5,658, according to the Health Department. That's a 10 percent increase, while Manhattan's growth rate has only been a measly 6 percent. Confirmed: Brooklyn is popular.
So just think of how many restaurants there would be if rents weren't through the roof. As restaurateur extraordinaire Drew Nieporent tells the paper: "If the rents were reasonable, I would have opened 20 more restaurants than I have today."