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Here are the Most Notable Restaurants Closing by Early January

Icons like the Red Cat and Cornelia Street Cafe will soon be gone — but there’s still time left to go


The end of the year is always brutal for restaurant closings — and this year, both influential longtime restaurants and shorter lived ones will be shutting their doors in the next few weeks. Here’s a rundown of some places that will be gone by early 2019, places where diners can still visit before the final day.

The Red Cat
Last day: Sunday, December 23rd
The iconic restaurant opened nearly 20 years ago in Chelsea — long before the neighborhood was considered a worthy dining destination. It was a pioneer of sophisticated eating in the neighborhood. Owner and chef Jimmy Bradley is closing it because he’s “ready for a change”; he’s going home to Rhode Island after the closing. 227 10th Ave., between West 23rd and West 24th streets.

Cornelia Street Cafe
Last day: Wednesday, January 2
The West Village restaurant has been legendary in the literary, music, and arts world since it opened 41 years ago. It started off as an art gallery and performance space in 1977 and eventually turned into a full-service restaurant. Singer-songwriter Suzanne Vega rose to fame here, and Eve Ensler first read The Vagina Monologues publicly at the cafe in 1993. But more recently, its fate has been uncertain as rents rise in the neighborhood. In 2017, the rent was reportedly $33,000 — nearly eight times more than it was in 1977, not adjusted for inflation. 29 Cornelia St., between Bleecker and West Fourth streets

Last day: Sunday, December 23rd
This tiny, popular West Village Italian restaurant and wine destination has been around for 11 years, but owners August Cardona and Andrew Whitney say that they could not afford market rate on the space after their 10-year lease ended. When it opened, it was a hot ticket, and since then, it’s become a more relaxed Italian restaurant particularly known for its by-the-glass wine program. Though the outpost is shuttering, the owners will soon have a counter by the same name in Gotham West Market. 38 Eighth Ave., at Jane Street

Flatiron Lounge
Last day: Saturday, December 22nd
The seminal cocktail bar opened in 2003 and has been home to top cocktail makers like Phil Ward, and in doing so, helped to shape the city’s craft cocktail scene. At the time, most places serving serious cocktails were tiny, and Flatiron Lounge helped bring it to the masses. Owner Julie Reiner, who also owns Brooklyn cocktail favorites Clover Club and Leyenda, says that a rent hike was too much to sustain. 37 West 19th Street, between Fifth and Sixth Avenue

Stanton Social
Last day: New Year’s Eve
The massive, clubby LES staple was one of the first restaurants of Tao Group’s now multimillion dollar empire. Stanton Social, which covers three floors, opened in 2005, marking one of the first adopters of shared plates and attracting clientele like Matt Damon and Sofia Vergara. Owner-chef Chris Santos also developed a knack for popular and kitschy fusion dishes like French onion soup dumplings here, a style that extended to later Tao restaurants. Tao is planning to relocate the restaurant elsewhere. 99 Stanton St., between Ludlow and Orchard streets

Pasta Flyer
Pasta Flyer
Alex Staniloff/Eater

Pasta Flyer
Last day: Friday, December 28
Former Del Posto chef Mark Ladner opened this fast food pasta restaurant just over a year ago, but the lease is up. His team will seek out a new location instead of trying to make this one work. The esteemed fine dining chef received praise for the pasta, offered at less than $9, and specials like the chicken parm. The space, though, cause headaches and delays. Until the closing, Ladner is offering a $19 white truffle pasta special. 510 Sixth Ave., between West 13th and West 14th streets

Last day: Monday, December 31
After nearly seven years in Cobble Hill, tasting menu restaurant Battersby will close. When it opened in 2011, the restaurant was considered one of the best openings in the country, offering a regularly changing five-course, now-$75 tasting menu. Eventually, it settled in as a well-regarded and ambitious local restaurant. But Walker Stern and Joe Ogrodnek said their lease was expiring, and business had slowed. Now, Ogrodnek will be leading the ground floor restaurant at upcoming LES hotel Sister City, a spinoff of the Ace hotels. 255 Smith Street, between Degraw and Douglass streets

Last day: Monday, December 31
East Village rum bar Cienfuegos and its Cuban bent are leaving the neighborhood after eight years. Owner Ravi DeRossi — who owns an empire of popular, spirit-specific cocktail bars and restaurants in the neighborhood — is flipping it into Honeybee’s, a vegan barbecue spot. 95 Avenue A, on East Sixth Street

Casa Neta
Last day: Saturday, December 22
Flatiron Mexican restaurant and mezcal house Casa Neta, which opened in 2016, is shutting down due to a rent hike. An owner says that it was more than double their current rent, making it impossible to continue. Moving forward, sister restaurant Harding’s will host a Casa Neta pop-up night on Mondays. 40 East 20th St., between Broadway and Park Avenue