After years of instability, the TGI Fridays in Union Square has finally closed. The location opened in 2010 at 34 Union Square East, at 16th Street. By 2014, the owner was looking to sell due to low sales — after four years in business, the restaurant was just breaking even. Somehow, it persevered, even surviving a fire in 2016. But at the end of last year, the Union Square location officially served its last loaded potato skins, according to EV Grieve.
The state of the casual dining chain world has been in decline for over a decade, and Fridays is not immune to the pressures that have caused Friendly’s, Bennigan’s, Joe’s Crab Shack, and Logan’s Roadhouse to all file for bankruptcy and other chains like Applebee’s and Buffalo Wild Wings to shutter locations.
Fridays also joins a growing list of Union Square restaurant closures. Danny Meyer’s Union Square Cafe was forced out due to a rent hike in 2015, and the same fate befell noodle shop Republic, which closed in December after 20 years in Union Square. The future of seafood restaurant Blue Water Grill also hangs in the balance after a huge rent hike.
New Yorkers can still get their Jack Daniel’s burger fix at the six TGI Fridays locations that remain open in Manhattan, as well as the Sheepshead Bay location.