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The First Shop to Shutter at the New Essex Market — and More Closings

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A weekly updated roundup of shutters throughout New York City

Essex Market Alex Staniloff/Eater

November 22

— The first stall to close in the six-month-old Essex Market is Samesa, a branch of a Williamsburg restaurant serving Middle Eastern food. Meanwhile, the LES food hall is expanding apace, welcoming the first half of the Market Line, a space below the upstairs Essex Market with more vendors to choose from.

Afandi Grill in the East Village, an Uzbek and Central Asian restaurant that opened last year, is closed.

— Midtown’s revival of the Playboy Club is no more, closing in under a year of business as operators plan to convert the space to a less problematic venue and steakhouse.

— UWS Japanese restaurant Mimi est. 2016, has closed with owners saying they’ll open a new sushi restaurant in the space featuring a new chef and management.

— A beer bar on the UWS called Beer Shop has tapped the kegs for good after three years in business.

— East Village coffee shop the Bean on Broadway closed after service on November 9, but will relocate to a new location, a former Starbucks, a few blocks to the south.

— Grand Central’s Birdbath Green Bakery, an offshoot of the beloved and also recently-closed City Bakery, has closed, too, leaving several employees frustrated and allegedly seeking wages.

— A Subway sandwich shop that opened on Avenue B in 2011 is closed.

November 14

— Old fried chicken faithful Dirty Bird To-Go is gone. The business appears to have closed both its Manhattan locations, as first rumored last week. Eater NY reached out for comment to no avail, but a post on the Instagram account of related wine bar Verre de Terre confirms the sad news. Dirty Bird was popular in both Tribeca and Chelsea as a quick option for chicken (fried and rotisserie) plus cornbread and sides. It ranked among Eater NY critic Robert Sietsema’s examples of the city’s best fried chicken: “The skin is a little browner than most, and the bird cooks up moist and flavorful,” he wrote.

— East Village Chinese noodle place the Tang has closed after three years in the neighborhood, but they’ll open a new concept in the space, and an Upper West Side location is still in business.

— Brooklyn’s location of Chinese chain Chopstix at 3790 Nostrand Avenue was closed for reported health violations.

— Popular French-style bistro Le Barricou is “currently closed until further notice” in WIlliamsburg, per its website.

November 7

— A cult-favorite ice cream maker, Milkmade, has closed after a decade of pint deliveries and four years of scoops at a tasting room in Cobble Hill. The last day of service was this past Sunday, and a long, long line of fans gathered for a last taste of flavors like fluffernutter cookie dough. On her website, owner Diana Hardeman wrote that’s she’s decided to move on to a new venture, while implying that Milkmade has been a ton of work and everyone involved could use a break.

— Meatpacking’s location of cafe chain Le Pain Quotidien has closed after nine years in the neighborhood.

Mi Casa Latina has closed after 10 months on 14th Street, leaving an opening in the East Village.

November 1

— Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood seafood restaurant Gloria has closed. Owner Phil Johnson opened the restaurant in 2017 as a pescatarian place with natural wine, and it was well-received in the neighborhood. But it wasn’t smooth sailing, with several chef changes, setbacks from the power outage this summer, expensive equipment failures, and a September robbery.

— Once-giant gourmet grocer and deli Dean & Deluca has officially exited New York City, permanently closing its remaining Soho store.

— The original East Village location of lobster roll chain Luke’s Lobster has closed. Founders Luke Holden and Ben Conniff say the brand has evolved past the small outpost.

— Italian gelato chain Amorino closed its Chelsea outpost, Eater has learned.

— East Village Sichuan restaurant Hot Kitchen, open since 2011, is now closed, but may reopen under a new name.

— Carroll Gardens bodega and neighborhood grocer Santo’s Deli has closed.

— Alphabet City bar Daytripper, featuring various games like beer pong and darts, is no more.

October 24

— Historic New York City burger joint JG Melon departed from the Upper West Side after just two years. The original Upper East Side location remains, as well as one in Greenwich Village.

— The Asian-influenced Nickel & Diner is no longer serving its well-liked updated diner fare in Soho-Chinatown.

— European-American restaurant Thalia has closed in Midtown, with a “For Lease” sign now hanging on its shuttered storefront.

— Iconic pretzel croissant and hot chocolate purveyor City Bakery closed in Union Square after 30 years.

— The big Times Square Sbarro, made famous in a scene of The Office when Michael Scott dubs it his favorite New York slice, has closed.

— Beloved Upper West Side outdoor dining destination Boat Basin Cafe has closed permanently due to nearby construction.

October 17

— Bushwick Sichuan restaurant General Deb’s closed following some possible gas leak issues. The restaurant was forced to turn its gas off and would have to reapply for permits and wait for another inspection, a process that could take six weeks to a few months, a spokesperson says. In light of that, the owners decided to close.

— Greenwood Heights bakeshop Woops! was supposed to reopen after Labor Day but never did.

— After a year, Greens and Grains has closed on the Lower East Side.

October 9

— After about a year, Indian street food restaurant Frankie Goes to Bollywood has posted a sign to its Soho restaurant saying that is closed, according to the Eater tipline. The fast-casual shop’s notice says that it will now only be doing catering and events. Update: Owner Yasir Chaudhry says he’s in the process of moving the restaurant to a food hall at 180 Maiden Lane in FiDi and is seeking other spaces in New York. The original location wasn’t busy enough to justify the high rent, he says.

— East Village grocery St. Mark’s Market has closed.

October 3

— Japanese import Bassanova Ramen has closed after six years in Chinatown. Papers taped on the location’s door hint at a landlord eviction. The noodle spot most known for its green curry ramen had one of the city’s more extensive tsukemen offerings on its menu, one of the less commonly found styles of ramen in New York.

— The East Village’s 24/7 St. Mark’s Market has closed and its going-out-of-business sale is going on now.

— Longtime Upper West Side Mexican restaurant Gabriela’s Restaurant and Tequila Bar has closed after 25 years, including 15 years at this location. Owners Liz and Nate Milner say they had to cut staff due to the $15 minimum wage hike and that quality has suffered as a consequence. The spot was known for its margaritas and tacos.

Olma Restaurant & Bar, an Upper West Side restaurant known for caviar and extravagant brunches, has closed to be replaced with a new concept.

— Popular Soho Indian restaurant Bombay Bread Bar served its last dish last month.

September 26

— Popular Chinatown tofu factory and restaurant Sun Hing Lung, which specialized in rice rolls, rice noodles, and dumplings, has closed its doors. The shop sold what was touted as some of best rice rolls in Chinatown from a small takeout window that closed in the afternoon. Sun Hing Lung was an unassuming Chinatown shop that sold the rolls in their simplest form, at $1 to $2 a piece. Today rice rolls are gaining popularity in New York’s dining scene, with newer restaurants like Joe’s Steam Rice Roll creating a cult following, especially on Instagram.

Blue Ribbon Fried Chicken has closed its doors in Hell’s Kitchen. The restaurant sold fried chicken by the piece, in bowls with pickles and slaw, and sandwiches. Blue Ribbon opened in February 2018. The restaurant has a remaining location in the East Village, as well as in Las Vegas.

— Swedish coffee chain Fika closed all seven of its remaining locations in New York City. The cafe was a destination for coffee and chocolate, and at its peak had 17 locations across the city. But a too-rapid expansion led to several closures and a bankruptcy protection filing. Under a new ownership structure, the chain shut its doors.

— Australian-Argentinian cafe Southern Cross Coffee has closed in the East Village. The coffee shop was open for two and a half years.

Dean & DeLuca closed its Midtown cafe, adding another shuttered location to its roster of failed stores.

September 19

Sau Voi, a Chinatown corner shop that sold lottery tickets and CDs alongside one of the city’s best banh mi sandwiches, has closed. The Vietnamese sandwiches were made on demi-baguettes and warmed in a toaster oven at a counter inside the shop, which opened three decades ago; the banh mis were admired by critics and diners alike.

— Critically acclaimed omakase gem Neta closed after a seven-year run in the West Village.

September 12

— Soho’s Delicatessen — the former sister restaurant to Chelsea’s popular 24-hour Cafeteria — abruptly closed Wednesday morning. Diners that came by for their regular breakfast were reportedly shocked to find it closed. Mark Thomas Amadei, a partner in Cafeteria, opened the restaurant to a lot of buzz in 2008, when it was marketed as an extension of Cafeteria. It served a vague genre of “international comfort food” like cheeseburger spring rolls, lobster mac and cheese, burgers, and Norwegian salmon Cobb salad from executive chef Michael Ferraro. Ferraro has taken a new role as director of culinary concepts for chef Charlie Palmer.

— Delicatessen’s next-door mac and cheese restaurant Macbar has also closed.

— Upper West Side steakhouse Lincoln Square has closed after four years, though the owners are reportedly plotting a new restaurant.

— West Harlem lost a longstanding McDonald’s branch that had stuck around for the past 40 years. The restaurant is closing to make way for new development.

— Bensonhurst poke bowl spot Poke Nom has closed, saying it might “pop up” somewhere else in the future.

— Williamsburg Mediterranean restaurant Zizi Limona, known for its standout shakshuka, has closed, though the it’s opening a new location in Chelsea, according to its website.

September 5

— Old-school Murray Hill diner Bloom’s Deli has closed due to issues with its landlord.

— Desserts shop Milk Bar has closed its Carroll Gardens location after seven years, according to a sign on the window. The sign says the store’s staff is relocating to its new Nomad flagship store at 29th Street and Broadway, which is expected to open in the fall.

— Cajun BYOB spot Juniper has closed in Williamsburg.

— East Village coffee shop Frisson Espresso has already closed after less than two years.

— Chelsea Venezuelan restaurant El Cocotero as been seized for unpaid taxes and remains closed. The restaurant served traditional fare like arepas, empanadas, and cachapas, as well as all-day breakfast.

Update: September 10, 2019, 10:46 a.m.: This article was updated to reflect the reopening of Chelsea Venezuelan restaurant El Cocotero after a tax-related seizure.

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