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 with winter just around the corner, city officials say that the recent surge in coronavirus cases may be cause to suspend indoor dining. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. This post will be updated weekly.
Crown Heights: Berg’n, the beloved Brooklyn food hall and event space from the team behind Smorgasburg, has permanently closed its doors. The food hall did not reopen after the state-mandated shutdown of restaurants and bars in mid-March, and co-owner Jonathan Butler tells Eater that the business will not be reopening at its current location.
Crown Heights: Beloved neighborhood beer garden Franklin Park closed this week after 12 and a half years in the neighborhood. After temporarily closing its doors for two months, the bar reopened in May, but business from takeout, delivery, and outdoor dining wasn’t enough to keep the bar afloat through another winter. Ahead of the closure, the staff of Franklin Park launched an ongoing GoFundMe campaign to help offset cuts in shifts.
East Village: The formerly one-Michelin-starred Japanese restaurant Kyo Ya appears to have permanently closed after 13 years on East Seventh Street. The phone line, email address, and website at the East Village restaurant have been disconnected, while OpenTable reports that Kyo Ya will not be reopening.
Midtown: After a 90-year tenure in Midtown, New York’s iconic 21 Club has permanently closed. The restaurant has been temporarily closed since mid-March, and its owners now say they will not move forward with reopening in light of the winter season and a second wave of coronavirus infections in New York. A spokesperson for the restaurant says the establishment may return in some form, but no plans have been finalized at this time.
Forest Hills: Popular local Irish bar Banter has permanently closed. The establishment has remained closed since the first pandemic-related shutdown in March, and never reopened. The restaurant, which debuted in 2013, was beloved for its brunch service and friendly staff.
Tribeca: Mediterranean seafood spot Savida has closed its doors roughly one year after opening them. Neighborhood blog Tribeca Citizen reports that the restaurant has been emptied out, while its website and phone line have both been disconnected.
Upper West Side: Another of Manhattan’s old-school diners has shuttered due to the economic downturn from the coronavirus pandemic. Ahead of Pier 72 closing, residents in the neighborhood launched a GoFundMe campaign for the 41-year-old diner that has since raised close to $10,000.
Upper West Side: Twenty-two years after opening on Columbus Avenue, Cafe Frida has permanently closed its doors. Owner Cristina Castañeda announced the closure in a message on the restaurant’s website and shared plans to open a new restaurant at the same location called La Covacha, which will “stick to honest food and deep authentic Mexican flavors” while bringing in heirloom corn masa and boutique brands of Mezcal, Castañeda tells local blog I Love the Upper West Side.
Flatiron: Blue Smoke, the seminal Flatiron restaurant that helped lay the foundation for New York’s barbecue boom, permanently closed this week after 18 years. Restaurateur Danny Meyer announced the closure in an email to customers on Wednesday.
Hudson Yards: The New York outpost of California-based farm and butcher Belcampo has permanently closed. Several restaurant listing sites including Opentable, Yelp, and Google indicated that the restaurant had closed back in August, though representatives for the company insisted that it was still open. In November, the newest location of fast-casual pita chain Miznon opened in its former space on the fourth floor of Hudson Yards.
Midtown: The outpost of Arepa Factory in the Turnstyle Underground Market has permanently closed. In its place is an Argentinian restaurant called Criollas Baked Empanadas is now open.
Williamsburg: Beloved Williamsburg cocktail bar Donna served its last piña colada on November 28. Roughly eight and a half years after the bar debuted on the corner of Broadway and Dunham Place, it has no closed its doors, partly because of the pandemic but also because of “mixed messaging from the city and state,” according to owner Leif Huckman. “We overcame the famine of our first months of operation, a fire in year two, but after 8 ½ years of service, we cannot overcome this plague,” Huckman shared in a lengthy note on the bar’s website.