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2 Longtime Williamsburg Dives Shutter Tonight — and More Closings

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A weekly updated roundup of shutters throughout New York City

The Abbey
The Abbey
Photo via The Abbey [Official]

February 28

— Longtime Williamsburg neighborhood hangout the Abbey is closing today. It opened in 1997 and throughout the years has been a fixture in NYC’s LGBTQ scene. It was dim and divey, with happy hour and free popcorn. Its owned by the same team behind dive spots Charleston, Alligator Lounge, and Crocodile Lounge.

— Tonight also marks the last call for longtime Williamsburg dive bar Rosemary’s Greenpoint Tavern. The unpretentious bar has been in the neighborhood since 1955.

— The eight-year-old Nomad restaurant John Dory Oyster Bar closes today after more than a year of weathering explosive sexual misconduct accusations against its former owner Ken Friedman. It opened in the Ace Hotel in 2010, quickly earning two stars from the Times. Christina Tosi will open a flagship Milk Bar there in its place.

— Open for more than a decade on the Upper West Side, Manchester Diner closed.

— Italian clubstaurant Louie & Chan shuttered after five years of serving pasta and pizzas in an upbeat setting with frequent live DJ events.

— Fast-casual kebabs and wraps joint Kut shuttered in West Village.

— West Village crepe restaurant Jean Le Gourmand, which served a standout ham egg and cheese crepe, closed.

— After 38 years selling sweets on the Lower East Side, the old-school sweets shop Raul Candy Store will close its doors tonight.

— The East Village lost restaurant and live music venue Sidewalk Cafe, following a 34-year run in the neighborhood.

— Popular barbecue restaurant Pig Beach’s upscale offshoot in Greenwich Village, Pig Bleecker, closed. It was open for just two years, and the restaurant’s Instagram post about the closure notes that “this is definitely not the end, just the beginning.”

February 22

The Crooked Tree closed after two decades of serving crepes, sandwiches, and salads at 110 St. Mark’s Place, between Avenue A and First Avenue, in the East Village. But it may soon reopen as something else. Owner Daniel Rivera is also a partner at the cafe next door, David’s Cafe, which applied for a new liquor license for the Crooked Tree space already.

— American restaurant Esther & Carol on the Lower East Side shuttered at 341 Broome after just two years.

— Upper West Side Italian restaurant Francesca’s La Vela Cucina Italiana has closed, though it may reopen on the East Side.

— The East Village is down a bakery with the loss of Patisserie Florentine, which closed its storefront at 280 East 10th St., near Avenue A, after two years.

— Japanese steakhouse chain Ikinari is planning to close nine of its 11 Manhattan outposts after just two years. Not all of them are closed yet, but one in Midtown at 243 West 54th Street has shuttered to become Pepper Lunch, another style of steak restaurant from the same company.

February 14

— After three decades of serving unfussy burgers and diner food in a tiny takeout space on the Upper West Side, Harriet’s Kitchen closed. It opened in 1989.

— The East Village lost bakery Patisserie Florentine. They served pastries, including almond croissants, for two years in the neighborhood.

— Upper East Side brunch spot Two Door Tavern shuttered. It also closed its Williamsburg location last fall.

— Troubled LES restaurant Brigitte has closed. It had just reopened in November after a second round of extensive renovations and a rework.

— Pizza restaurant Fornino closed its Williamsburg location after 15 years in the neighborhood. Locations remain in Greenpoint and seasonally at Brooklyn Bridge Park Pier 6.

— Prospect Heights sports bar Woodwork Brooklyn closed. The new owners are opening another sports bar in its place.

Tapanju Turntable, a Korean tapas restaurant, temporarily closed in the fall due to a gas problem, but that shutter is now permanent, as the landlord recently took legal possession of the space.

February 7

— Longtime Spanish restaurant Casa Pepe has closed its Brooklyn doors, according to a message on its website. The Bay Ridge restaurant open since 1980 served a mixture of Spanish and Mexican fare, with dishes like seafood paella and enchiladas poblanas on the appearing on the menu.

— Another Spanish restaurant, this one in the East Village and with a focus on tapas, also closed. Marcha Cocina opened three years ago, but now a “for rent” sign hangs on its shuttered storefront.

— The Lower East Side’s wacky French hotspot Le Turtle closed after four-year run. It opened in 2015, serving experimental French-American cuisine that garnered critical acclaim under former chef Greg Proechel, including two stars from Eater critic Ryan Sutton and one star from the Times. A sign on the restaurant’s window suggests that a new restaurant is in the works: “Stay tuned for our next project,” it reads.

— Falafel destination Azuri Cafe in Hell’s Kitchen appears to be closed; its phone line is dead and several Yelp reviewers say the storefront has been cleared out. The tiny restaurant debuted in 1990 and has been selling fried falafel-stuffed pita sandwiches for nearly 30 years.

— Local East Village sweets shop Raul Candy Store is closing after 43 years, possibly due to high rent. A “going out of business” sign now hangs on the shop’s window.

— East Village fast-casual chicken spot Spinner’s, which just opened in August, is no more. The restaurant closed temporarily last year to add pizza to the menu, but now, its front door and windows are covered with newspapers.

— Poke bowl chain PokeSpot has closed its Soho location after just after two years in business, but its Union Square outpost remains open. An online real estate ad is marketing the 1,100-square-foot space for $18,000 a month.

— Vegan cafe Sun in Bloom has departed from Tribeca after a five-year run. It sold cold-pressed juices, fruit smoothies, gluten-free baked goods, and other healthy-leaning snacks. The restaurant once had a location in Park Slope, but that spot has also closed.

— The Evening Bar at the Tribeca Smyth Hotel has closed, and its replacement will arrive in April. The bar has another one remaining location in Detroit inside the Shinola Hotel.

— American restaurant and cocktail bar Nightingale was short-lived in Greenwich Village. It opened just last year, serving dishes like smoked duck salad with harissa yogurt and a burger with foie gras. Its website and phone line are down.

— An Upper West Side Starbucks store that was near and dear to local diners’ hearts has closed, despite an online petition that attempted to save it.

January 31

— Journalism and literary hub the Half King has officially closed. News broke of the restaurant and bar’s impending closure at the end of December, and on January 26, it served its final night. Since its opening in 2000, the Half King has served as a neighborhood pub with burgers, wings, and a popular daily happy hour. It also provided frequent journalism and photojournalism programming, with readings and galleries hosted in the space.

— Despite a passionate campaign to try to save it, the nearly 50-year-old health-centric restaurant Souen has closed. The restaurant opened in 1971 and has since operated through a special agreement with the building’s landlord, but the co-op board is potentially raising the rent significantly, according to an email sent to Souen supporters by owner Beth Powell-Saito.

— Midtown East restaurant Wanderlust shuttered. It served casual cafe fare like salads, sandwiches, and pizzas in a bright space equipped with a neon sign reading “baby, this is what you came for.”

— Small Korean neighborhood spot Natural Tofu & Noodles in Sunnyside is listed as permanently closed on Yelp and Google, and the phone number is out of service. It served a simple menu of noodle soups with tofu as a focus.

— The Upper East Side Cajun-Creole restaurant Infirmary closed after service on January 29. It was open for five years, and the shutter was announced on Instagram.

— Farm-to-table restaurant Midwinter Kitchen in Gramercy Park closed. It sourced its food from its own farm: Midwinter Farms in Ancram, NY.

January 24

Amy’s Bread shuttered its Greenwich Village location at 250 Bleecker St., but additional locations remain open throughout Manhattan and in Brooklyn. Owner Amy Scherber tells the Wall Street Journal that in lieu of raising prices, her company needed to cut costs elsewhere to pay for an estimated $500,000 increase in labor costs due to the minimum wage hike. The Bleecker Street outpost was underperforming enough to get cut.

— Lower East Side Lebanese restaurant Lil’ Gem shuttered. It opened in 2017 and was new to the Michelin Bib Gourmand list for 2019. It served various mezze, as well as family-style plates.

— Fast-casual Mediterranean restaurant Panorama in Union Square closed.

— Basque wine and tapas bar Donostia closed its Alphabet City location. There are potential plans to move elsewhere.

— Chef Michael White closed his pizzeria Nicoletta in East Village and plans to open a counter-service version.

— Tapas restaurant Cata closed on the Lower East Side. It opened in September 2012.

— Bakery chain Le Pain Quotidien closed its storefront at 2463 Broadway, near 91st Street on the Upper West Side.

January 17

— Critic-approved East Village Indian restaurant Old Monk is now closed, with a sign on the door saying the restaurant space is up for rent. The “contemporary Indian soul food” restaurant opened in 2017, taking over the space that once belonged to the beleaguered but influential Babu Ji, which moved to Union Square. Old Monk was a project from Akbar and Dawat founder Sushil Malhotra, and received a favorable nod from Pete Wells of the Times last year.

Tu-Lu’s Gluten Free Bakery closed after nine years in the East Village. The sweet shop’s lease was up for renewal next month but owner Tully Phillips decided against it, she says on an Instagram post announcing the closure. “Due to a variety of factors, including the rising cost of doing business in NYC and the fact that I live halfway across the country in Texas, I have had to make this difficult decision,” she writes.

— UWS Italian restaurant Isola has shuttered, and a new restaurant called Ortomare will open in the space with the same chef and a similar menu, under a different owner.

— Marshmallow and rice crispy treat shop Treat House is closing after over five years on the UWS.

Coco Fresh Tea and Juice has closed for the next month for renovations and may be relocating to another location in the UWS.

January 10

— One of the early franchises of Nathan’s Famous closed in Dyker Heights after more than four decades in the neighborhood. The original Coney Island store remains open, along with dozens of other concession stands and shops in NYC.

Grunauer Bistro on the Upper East Side has closed. It opened in March 2016 and received a positive review in the New York Times, praised for its straightforward Austrian offerings like Wiener schnitzel.

— The West Village’s Greenwich Steakhouse from a Smith & Wollensky vet has closed according to a tipster and also is listed as permanently closed on Yelp and Open Table. Calls to the restaurant went unanswered.

— Bed-Stuy’s Filipino restaurant Tamá closed. The casual joint opened a little under two years ago to critical acclaim, including a writeup in Ligaya Mishan’s Times column.

— In the East Village, Carma East has been closed recently, and the phone is disconnected.

Make Sandwich closed in East Village and is seeking a new location.

Chelsea Thai closed after five months in East Village.

— On the UWS, Italian restaurant Acqua has closed.

— After nearly seven years, Talde in Park Slope closed. The restaurant from frequent Top Chef competitor Dale Talde opened in January 2012, serving pan-Asian fare

The Sosta, an Instagram-y pasta restaurant backed by same company that founded vegan hit By Chloe, closed just over a year after opening.

Blossom du Jour, a vegan restaurant on the UWS, closed due to rising rent and costs.

Big Bang Burger, a burger shop that opened on the UWS in 2017, shuttered.

— The UWS kosher cafe CoffeeBerry, which opened in 2015, closed.

— An UWS KFC on 106th and Broadway shut its doors.

January 3

Cornelia Street Cafe — an iconic space in NYC’s literary, music, and art worlds — closed after over four decades in West Village. Artists Charles McKenna, Raphaela Pivetta, and Robin Hirsch established Cornelia Street Cafe in 1977. It was a cultural fixture through the years, hosting hundreds of performances annually.

— Union Square stalwart Blue Water Grill closed its doors after more than 20 years in the neighborhood. In recent years, it had struggled to keep up with rent increases.

— East Village rum bar Cienfuegos departed the neighborhood after eight years. Owner Ravi DeRossi is flipping it into Honeybee’s, a vegan barbecue spot.

— Chef-owners Walker Stern and Joe Ogrodnek shuttered their New American tasting menu restaurant Battersby in Cobble Hill due to an expiring lease and slowing business. The once-white-hot restaurant opened in 2011, landing on Bon Appetit’s 10 best new restaurants in America list within its first year.

— Tao Group’s Stanton Social shuttered after 15 years in Hell Square. It was one of the early NYC restaurants that helped shape the prolific restaurant group’s over-the-top approach to food and drink. Chef-owner Chris Santos noted that the closure is the result of an ending lease.

— Chris Scott, who competed on season 15 of Top Chef, shuttered two restaurants in Windsor Terrace at the end of the year. He closed his soul food restaurant Butterfunk Kitchen and its sibling restaurant next door, Sumner’s Luncheonette, which served breakfast, lunch, and weekend brunch.

— East Village corner spot Bar Virage shuttered after 22 years in the neighborhood.

Pasta Flyer, the pasta fast food spot from ex-Del Posto chef Mark Ladner, closed after a little over one year of serving plates of fusilli, fettuccine, and spaghetti for under $9 each. Ladner is searching for a new location.

Extraction Lab — the Brooklyn cafe that once sold America’s most expensive cup of coffee, coming in at a whopping $18 — is now closed.

— Tribeca juice bar Lyfeping closed after just a few months of serving acai bowls, juice, and smoothies.

— Only a few months after debuting in West Village, Mediterranean corner restaurant Fava Bistro permanently closed.

— East Village dive bar the Continental really is gone for good after one last New Year’s Eve party. The bar, which infamously offered five shots of anything for $12, had been in the neighborhood for 27 years.

Raymi Peruvian Kitchen & Pisco Bar closed in Nomad after more than six years. Chef-owner Richard Sandoval opened it in the summer of 2012.

— Upper West Side Italian restaurant Acqua closed. It served brick-oven pizzas and classic Italian dishes like carbonara and bolognese.

Al Forno Pizzeria on the Upper East Side shuttered.

— Brooklyn French restaurant Dumonet closed. The French bistro offered prix fixe and a la carte dinner menus during the week as well as weekend brunch.

— West Village juice and smoothie bar Whole Green shuttered after seven years in the neighborhood.

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