Welcome to Year in Eater 2019, Eater’s annual ritual of eulogizing the past 12 months through input from the city’s top food writers. For 2019’s final week, Eater NY will be posting questions daily about New York City’s restaurant scene in the past year, with answers from those who know it best: Eater editors and friends of Eater. Next up: What were the saddest restaurant closings of 2019?
Korsha Wilson, writer: THE HENRY and GLORIA!! It felt like a punch in the gut when I found out these restaurants closed. Also Talde in JC but I kind of saw that coming because the Brooklyn location had closed a few months earlier.
Chris Crowley, staff writer at Grub Street: The basement level of the Golden Shopping Mall, a New York gem, which was where Xi’An Famous Foods and Tianjin Dumpling House started and was home to so much other good food. Arcade Bakery (what a place), the Bombay Bread Bar, Cafe Loup.
Robert Sietsema, Eater NY senior critic: Taqueria Izucar, Harry & Ida’s, City Bakery
Amanda Kludt, Eater editor-in-chief: Not a restaurant but the decline and fall of Dean & Deluca was a sad sight to see.
Ryan Sutton, Eater NY’s chief critic: Arcade Bakery, Le Turtle (this was such a fun and wacky restaurant when Greg Proechel was at the helm), Kebab Empire (that fine Uyghur spot in Midtown West), and of course, Two Toms, which is slated to shutter quite soon. The end of Two Toms is really the end of an era, not just in terms of a 71-year-old establishment closing, but in the sense that rapidly gentrifying Gowanus — teeming with luxury apartments — is losing an accessible neighborhood staple run by just one guy, Anthony Catapano.
Chris Gayomali, GQ site editor: Pouring one out for Talde and the best halo halo to ever grace Park Slope.
Tanay Warerkar, reporter at Eater NY: Maharlika, Jonty Jacobs (a specialty South African foods store), and Dean & Deluca
Amanda Mull, staff writer at The Atlantic: I was going to say Nan Xiang Xiao Long Bao in Flushing, because I only got to go once and it was so good. But while double-checking when it closed, I found out it had reopened in a new location! Merry Christmas to me.
Sonia Chopra, Eater director of editorial strategy: Arcade Bakery was devastating. I was pretty bummed about Prime Meats, even though I don’t eat meat, because I loved sitting at their bar or outside with a cocktail and a new book on my walk home from nearby-ish Books Are Magic.
Monica Burton, associate restaurant editor at Eater: City Bakery! I’ll feel the loss even more come February when there’s no hot chocolate month to get us through.
Joseph Hernandez, food and drinks writer: Pioneering Filipino fine-dining spot Maharlika really felt like a gut-punch.
Matt Rodbard, founding editor of TASTE: Smith Canteen. What Kerry and Rob built there (and at Nightingale 9 and Seersucker) was incredibly special — what heart and creativity and a point of view. It was the end to an incredible run on Smith Street. A great, and sometimes absolutely cruel street to operate on. Also, I had heard the rumors and was able to enjoy one last hot chocolate at City Bakery, a week before the lights went off. Tip and shout!
Rachel Wharton, food writer and author of American Food: A Not-So-Serious History: Well all the restaurant closings are kinda sad, no matter what they are. Even a lowly bodega sandwich counter. That means somebody’s dream (and a ton of cash and jobs) is gone... and if it wasn’t still somebody’s dream, then maybe it deserved to close. But also Dom DeMarco has basically retired from DiFara’s. His daughter Maggie and his other kids are totally taking the reins and it’s great to see them take the business forward, but I’m sad I didn’t go more often in the past couple years, cause this is the end of a pizza era. One day we’re all gonna tell all the young uns, oh yeah, I went there when the old man was still behind the wood and a slice was only $5.
Cathy Erway, food writer: Nargis Park Slope
Anna Hezel, Senior Editor at TASTE: I was heartbroken about Rosemary’s Greenpoint Tavern closing. So many college memories of Erotic PhotoHunt and giant styrofoam cups of Bud Light.
Serena Dai, editor of Eater NY: I really felt like City Bakery and Barbuto would just be around forever, but alas. I’m personally upset about Nargis’s Park Slope location, which I went to (and recommended) constantly.
Alex Staniloff, Eater NY photographer: The tragic conversion of Williamsburg staple, Walter Food’s, into Walter Sports, adorned with more flat screen tv’s than one could fathom was a true tragedy befallen on the neighborhood that is already caught in the landslide of gentrification.
Charlotte Druckman, food writer and editor of Women on Food: CITY BAKERY was too much for me. Staying on theme, losing Arcade Bakery wasn’t a picnic, either. (I still miss Gray’s Papaya on West 8th/Ave of the Americas, and Village on West 9th.)