La Newyorkina, the first brick-and-mortar location of Fany Gerson’s beloved Mexican desserts shop, is set to permanently close its doors after four years of business. Gerson announced the closure in an email to customers over the weekend, citing “the long winter ahead” and a downturn in foot traffic from tourists, New York University students, and other customers during the pandemic. The shop’s last day of service is January 10.
As a desserts shop specializing in paletas and ice cream, La Newyorkina’s busiest season is typically the summer, generating sales that help sustain the restaurant through the slower winter months. Not this year. “Having a seasonal business in NY has always been challenging, but I never imagined not even having a season,” Gerson writes in the letter.
La Newyorkina was able to grow its nationwide delivery sales and bring its paletas to more stores during the pandemic, but Gerson writes that it wasn’t enough to offset “even a dent” of its summer sales. Faced with a looming winter season, and after being unable to reach an agreement with her landlord, Gerson had no choice but to close the store.
“All our cart locations, concerts, caterings, weddings, events & partnerships were canceled,” Gerson shares in the note. “All the restaurants we sell ice cream to were closed and some, sadly never be open and others not being able to continue buying from us.”
The Mexican desserts shop temporarily closed its doors in March due to the state-mandated shutdown of restaurants and bars but remained open for takeout and delivery throughout the early days of the pandemic. A month later, Gerson became one of the first restaurateurs to launch headfirst into at-home meal delivery with El Newyorkino, an off-shoot from her popular desserts shop.
Sales from takeout and delivery helped Gerson to reopen La Newyorkina in June, but the absence of the neighborhood’s usual customers was immediately felt. “We have held on as much as we could, but with no real change in sight, without these customers who represent a high percentage of our business and the long winter ahead of us we simply can’t,” Gerson writes.
Though the Greenwich Village desserts shop will permanently close in January, Gerson will continue to offer her popular paletas for nationwide delivery, while she says she hopes to be back at concerts and other outdoor venues by the summertime. Until then Gerson’s desserts can be found at her recently opened and already buzzing doughnut shop, Fan Fan Doughnuts, located on the corner of Franklin Avenue and Lafayette Avenue in Bed-Stuy.
“We close this shop with sadness, but also with incredible pride and our heads held up high,” Gerson writes. “We close with hopes and plans to re-open somewhere else at some point and the dream doesn’t end but simply shifts.”