Park Slope-based hot dog place Bark closed its Greenwich Village location on Sunday — just about six months after it opened earlier this year, owner Joshua Sharkey confirmed. It's one of several hot dog places to close in the neighborhood in the last few years. The Bark team had signed a lease for the space at 155 Bleecker St. more than two years ago, and even though sales were growing, it wasn't quite enough to keep pace with the "very high rent," Sharkey tells Eater. "It’s pretty unfortunate," he says. "We love being here. It was going pretty well. The economics just weren’t working out."
Crif Dogs, Dogmatic, and Gray's Papaya have also closed in the neighborhood in recent years, and Crif Dogs was similarly open for just a few months. But Sharkey dismissed the idea of a "hot dog curse" in Greenwich Village. He wouldn't specify his rent cost, but commercial rent in the area is notoriously high, at an average of $481-per-square-foot. "We were doing good sales, more than in Brooklyn," Sharkey says. "But not nearly enough to make it work." The original Park Slope location, which opened in 2009, remains open serving hot dogs, sausage, burgers, and veggie dogs.
Sharkey says Bark is now focusing on a retail arm of the business, expected to launch in stores in the next few months. The Greenwich Village store closing leaves the company more time to focus on the finish line of packaging their hot dogs, baked beans, and sauces, including new hot dogs that haven't showed up in the restaurants yet, Sharkey says. Despite the short-lived Greenwich Village location, Sharkey says it's possible that Bark will still open in Manhattan again in the future. "We’re always on the hunt," he says. "It’s definitely not the end by any means."