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Midtown Fast-Casual Chain Mulberry and Vine to Close All Locations for the Winter

Plus, the Street Vendor Project is calling on elected officials to expand the number of vending permits in the city — and more intel

A screenshot from Google Maps, with slightly blurred areas of the photo visible. A sandwich board is propped out front of a restaurant, whose sign reads “Mulberry and Vine”
Mulberry and Vine at 57 West 27th Street
Google Maps

Mulberry and Vine will temporarily close its doors on November 13

Weekday lunch spot Mulberry and Vine is taking a break. In an email to customers on Tuesday, owner Michelle Gauthier shared that the small chain of five fast-casual restaurants will close its doors on Friday, November 13 at 3 p.m. There’s no official reopening date on the calendar, but Gauthier tells Eater that the closing is only temporary and that the restaurants will likely return in February or March of 2021. “Winter is always our slowest time, plus the rise in COVID cases just didn’t make sense to stay open right now,” she says, pointing to a recent surge in positive coronavirus cases in New York, New Jersey, and elsewhere.

Like many of the city’s fast-casual restaurants, Mulberry and Vine has been hard-hit by the steep decline in office workers in Manhattan, beginning in March when Gov. Andrew Cuomo ordered all non-essential workers to stay at home. Gauthier has tried everything to keep her restaurants afloat in the meantime, including negotiating rent relief with her landlords, reducing expenses, expanding delivery services, and introducing new menu items, but “it was not enough,” she says. In May, the restaurant opened its doors for a week after receiving a loan through the Paycheck Protection Program, but reopening “was a massive fail,” Gauthier told neighborhood blog Tribeca Citizen at the time. “Our sales were so low that it actually cost me more money to be open than to just stay closed.”

Gauthier opened the first location of Mulberry and Vine at 73 Warren Street, between Greenwich Street and West Broadway, in 2013. The first-time restaurateur followed-up with a second location in Nomad in 2015 and added three additional restaurants — two in Midtown, one in Dumbo — three years later in 2018.

In other news

— The Street Vendor Project, a group that represents thousands of food carts and trucks across the city, will march across the Brooklyn Bridge tomorrow, calling on elected officials to include food vendors in restaurant relief and expand the number of vending permits in the city. The march begins at 11:30 a.m. at Korean War Veterans Plaza in Brooklyn.

— Popular NYC restaurants including LoLo’s Seafood Shack, Harlem Shake, and Kokomo are participating in Black Restaurant Week, a week-long event that kicks off on Friday, November 13 in partnership with Pepsi and Bacardi.

— A new cafe with iceless curling, outdoor dining bubbles, and small bites opens its doors in Bryant Park today. The aptly-named Curling Cafe is open Wednesday through Sunday by reservation.

— West Harlem restaurant ROKC is out with a new winter cocktail menu, which includes several warm options and 39 drinks in total. The restaurant’s second spot on the Upper East Side, NR, has expanded its list of drinks, as well.

— Pop-up restaurant Both/And is selling kimchi by the pint ($18) and quart ($32) to benefit different local organizations each month. For November, its sales will go to Abolition Park and mutual aid network Bed-Stuy Strong.

— Grub Street steps inside Yellow Rose, a Texas-style pop up from Superiority Burger and Emmy Squared alums.

New York Times Times critic Pete Wells visits Silver Apricot this week, the newly opened West Village restaurant from Simone Tong.

— We won’t blame you if you order this heavy-hitting Thanksgiving dinner from Frenchette. The restaurant is taking orders until Wednesday, November 18.

— When you put it that way: