More than eight months into the coronavirus pandemic, restaurants across the city continue to close en masse. At least 1,000 have closed since March due to the financial downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Among them are neighborhood favorites like Uncle Boons and MeMe’s Diner, along with sites of teenage debauchery like FiDi’s China Chalet and the glitzy McDonald’s flagship store off of Times Square.
In all likelihood, though, this is only the beginning of permanent closures in New York, as loans from the Paycheck Protection Program have run dry, rent payments continue to mount, and a recent surge in coronavirus cases may be cause for suspending the city’s fledgling indoor dining program. According to a September survey from the New York State Restaurant Association, as many as two-thirds of state’s restaurants could permanently close by the end of the year if they don’t receive additional government aid. Due to the difficulty of tracking restaurant and bar closings right now, experts say that number could be even higher, and will likely only continue to grow.
Below, Eater is documenting the city’s permanent restaurant closures so far. If a restaurant or bar has closed in your neighborhood, send us a photograph and a few lines letting us know how you learned about the closure at email@example.com. This post will be updated weekly.
Crown Heights: Following a bizarre, decades-long legal battle over ownership of its building, the Crown Heights location of beloved Caribbean restaurant Gloria’s has permanently closed. Earlier this year, Brooklyn Supreme Court judge Bruce Balter ordered the restaurant to vacate the premises and pay $50 million in damages, a staggering fine that’s rarely heard of in similar cases.
Downtown Brooklyn: The only New York City outpost of Florida-based taco chain Rocco’s Tacos and Tequila Bar has permanently closed. In response to a comment on its Instagram page, the restaurant chain confirmed that the Brooklyn location of Rocco’s would not be reopening after the pandemic.
Financial District: The Wall Street location of Haru Sushi permanently closed its doors in October after nearly 13 years of business, an employee at the bar tells Eater in an email. The mini-chain of sushi restaurants, once dubbed the “Dos Caminos of the sushi trade,” opened the doors at its Financial District outpost in December 2007.
Lower East Side: After temporarily closing its doors in July due to the coronavirus pandemic, the owner of late-night hangout Max Fish announced this week that the venue has officially closed. The storied Lower East Side bar opened at its original home on Ludlow Street in 1989, where it operated until closing a little over two decades later in 2013. At that time, owner Ulli Rimkus vowed to bring the bar to Williamsburg, but ended up reopening at its former home on Orchard Street in 2014. Rest assured, there are plans for a comeback this time, too.
Nolita: Neighborhood favorite Ramen Lab served its last bowl of takeout ramen earlier this month. In an announcement on the restaurant’s Instagram page, parent company Sun Noodle shared that the ramen shop’s last day of service would be November 13, roughly five years after it opened its doors.
East Village: Filipino mainstay Ugly Kitchen is permanently shutting down after nine years, EV Grieve reports. Chef and partner Aris Tuazon credits the closure to the “unsurmountable challenges of the pandemic.” The restaurant has set up a GoFundMe fundraising page to help offset the costs of unpaid back rent and utility bills as it shuts down.
Lower East Side: Quirky ice cream purveyor Oddfellows has permanently shuttered two downtown Manhattan locations on East 4th Street and East Houston Street, Bowery Boogie reports. The chain is still operating two locations in Brooklyn, plus a Boston outpost. Williamsburg and Bushwick scoop shops are in development, according to the company’s website.
Prospect Heights: Beloved neighborhood spot MeMe’s Diner — an unassuming, inclusive restaurant that grew to become a nationally-recognized beacon of queer dining culture in America — is permanently closing on November 22 after three years due to the pandemic. Owners Libby Willis and Bill Clark said in an interview that unsafe working conditions brought on by COVID-19 and a lack of federal financial support for restaurants contributed to the closure.
Prospect Heights: Cheery coffee and pastry shop Joyce Bakeshop permanently shut down at the beginning of October after 14 years in the neighborhood. In a Facebook post announcing the closure, owner Joyce Quitasol and husband Mo Chin didn’t disclose the details behind the decision, but said only that it was “time to close this chapter of Joyce Bakeshop.”
West Village: Filipino taqueria Flip Sigi is permanently shutting down its 525 Hudson Street location on November 25; however, the owners have already announced that they will be opening up another Flip Sigi shop at an undisclosed location in the coming weeks.
West Village: Cozy, 24-year-old bistro Philip Marie has permanently shut down, the restaurant confirms with Eater. A message on the now-shuttered restaurant’s website reads: “Governor Cuomo…. Fix Our City!”
Chelsea: Another of the city’s 24-hour diners has permanently closed its doors due to the pandemic. A “retail for lease” sign now hangs in the front windows of the seven-year-old Rail Line Diner, while the restaurant’s Facebook page has been updated to say the restaurant is “permanently closed.” Phone calls to the diner went unanswered, as its number has since been disconnected.
Chinatown: After a months-long battle to keep its doors open, Chinatown institution 88 Lan Zhou has closed. The beloved neighborhood restaurant was set to close in August, but co-owner Mandy Zhang managed to keep it open until the end of October following an outpouring of local support.
Chinatown: Well-liked takeout restaurant Hua Ji Pork Chop Fast Food closed its doors earlier in the pandemic. The restaurant’s phone line is disconnected, while several users on Yelp report that the business on Allen Street has been shuttered for months.
East Village: Siblings Julie and Will Horowitz have decided to close Ducks Eatery, a celebrated source for barbecue, and the duo’s last remaining restaurant in the city after the closure of Harry and Ida’s in November 2019. The owners confirmed that the restaurant’s last day of service is November 7.
East Village: Feast, a popular American restaurant in the neighborhood, has closed its doors after more than seven years of business. The restaurant’s owners announced the closure in a post to Instagram earlier this week, adding that a Texas-style pop-up called Yellow Rose will be temporarily taking over the space beginning on November 11.
Greenwich Village: Joe Bastianich’s upscale pizzeria-slash-wine bar Otto has permanently closed down. Bastianich and disgraced former business partner Mario Batali opened the restaurant in 2003 and it quickly became popular as a more casual hangout compared to the group’s fine dining headliners like Babbo and Del Posto. After temporarily shuttering in March due to the pandemic, the spot briefly reopened for takeout and delivery before closing for good.
Flatiron: Flatiron fast-casual restaurant, Made Nice — from the Eleven Madison Park crew — has closed nearly four years after it opened on West 28th Street. EMP chef and owner Daniel Humm made the announcement on his Instagram account yesterday, citing the pandemic-related downturn for the closure.
Lower East Side: Burger and beer spot Benson’s closed its doors at the end of last month, citing fears about the upcoming winter season. The owners made the announcement on Benson’s Instagram account.
Lower East Side: New York City ice cream vendor Ice and Vice has made the decision to close all three of its locations. In a post to Instagram from October, the shop announced that it was “challenged with the public safety, financial strain, and emotional impact of this virus.” The popular ice cream shop started as a Williamsburg street vendor in 2013 and expanded with its Lower East Side flagship location two years later in March 2015. Ice and Vice then expanded to locations in Long Island City and the Time Out Market in Dumbo, both of which have permanently closed, as well.
Midtown: The splashy Midtown outpost of Cantonese fine dining chain Hakkasan has closed for good. The Theater District restaurant had yet to reopen since the pandemic-related shutdown in March, and a representative with the company confirmed that the closure is permanent.
West Village: Sceney American restaurant Cafe Clover has closed its doors after a seven-year run. “We hope to find a way to re-emerge in some form when the dust settles,” the restaurant shared in a note on its website.