As New York City approaches the one-year anniversary of its first indoor dining shutdown, restaurants and bars continue to close their doors. At least 1,000 have closed since March due to the economic downturn caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Among them are newer neighborhood favorites like Uncle Boons and MeMe’s diner, along with decades-old institutions including 21 Club, Fedora, and Frank’s Cocktail Lounge.
In all likelihood, the list of permanent closures will only continue to grow in New York, as rent payments continue to mount and restaurants attempt to weather the upcoming months on takeout, delivery, and limited indoor dining. In September, a survey from the New York State Restaurant Association predicted that as many as two-thirds of the state’s restaurants could permanently close by the end of that year if they did not 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 take months or even years to assess.
Below, Eater is documenting the city’s permanent restaurant closures so far. If a restaurant or bar has closed in your neighborhood, let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org. This post will be updated regularly.
East Village: It’s another big week of closings for Lower Manhattan. Yunnan noodle maker Dian Kitchen has closed after nearly three years on East Ninth Street. Owner Jessie Zhang announced the closure on Instagram, writing that she is moving out of New York City with her family and may reopen the restaurant at a new location.
East Village: The Saint Marks Place outpost of Joe’s Steam Rice Roll will not be reopening after the pandemic. The Cantonese restaurant, which started as a cult-favorite rice noodle shop in Flushing, opened its East Village outpost in June 2019. The building’s address has since been listed online by tri-state real estate group Ripco.
East Village: Newly opened Caribbean cocktail bar Km1 is no more. Less than a year after opening, the bar has been replaced by two vegan restaurants, VistroBurger and PurpleThai, which operate from the same address.
East Village: The flagship outpost of Belgian food truck Wafels and Dinges has closed after seven years “The store is closed and won’t reopen,” founder Thomas DeGeest confirmed to EV Grieve this week. The company’s food trucks are still making the rounds, while its kiosks at Bryant Park and Herald Square have since reopened.
Meatpacking District: Untitled, the nearly decade-old Union Square Hospitality Group restaurant attached to the Whitney Museum has permanently shut down, according to a USHG spokesperson. The American art museum is converting the restaurant space into a quick-service pop-up called the Whitney Cafe, which will be run by Union Square events.
Two Bridges: Co-owners Ashley Santoro and Sarah Krathen announced the end of L’itos earlier this month, a Henry Street cafe that was small on space but big on flavor. In its brief eight-month run, the shop’s sandwiches and slabs of lasagna developed a local following among customers and city critics.
Bayside: Well-liked sushi restaurant Mickey’s Place has ended its nearly four-decade run in Queens. The restaurant garnered a local following at its original location in Forest Hills, which opened in 1986, before relocating to its current home on Bell Boulevard. “We do not currently have plans to re-open at another location, but will update you all here if we do,” the restaurant wrote in a post on Facebook.
Columbus Circle: Taiwanese stall Zai Lai at Turnstyle Underground Market, known for its comforting bowls of rice porridge and well-executed beef noodle soup, also appears to have permanently shut down. A spokesperson for the underground food hall confirms that the restaurant has been replaced by a business called Low Carb Lab, which has yet to open.
Flatiron District: Longtime lunch counter Eisenberg’s Sandwich Shop appears to have closed for good. There’s a for lease sign hanging in the window, but a source familiar with the situation there tells Grub Street that the landlord of the property is hoping to reopen the iconic spot. The owner of Eisenberg’s, Warren Chiu, reportedly doesn’t own the intellectual property rights to the business, according to Grub Street, so it’s possible the sandwich spot returns under different ownership. The counter service destination was known for its tuna melt and cream cheese-and-chopped-olive sandwiches.
Hell’s Kitchen: Korean restaurant Bann has closed its doors after 15 years in Hell’s Kitchen, according to an announcement on its website. The restaurant disappointed the New York Times shortly after opening in 2005 but managed to win the hearts of residents in the neighborhood, who mourned the closing in a series of comments on Instagram.
Tribeca: Local seafood chain Poke Green has permanently closed its Greenwich Street outpost after three years. Co-founder Colin Cento tells Tribeca Citizen that the company was unable to come to an agreement with the building’s landlord and had no choice but to permanently close. “It is incredibly frustrating and not what we wanted,” he says. The local chain is survived by an outpost at 164 Pearl Street in the Financial District.
Lower East Side: Eight-year-old Mediterranean restaurant Mezetto has permanently shut down. The restaurant closed its doors in what was supposed to be a temporary halt last March amid the initial citywide shutdown, but ended up never reopening, according to Bowery Boogie. Cuban restaurant Mi Salsa Kitchen has now opened in the same space.
Chinatown: Casual Chinese spot Happy Family Kitchen, located across from Seward Park, has permanently shuttered. Fast food crab restaurant Juicy King Crab Express has taken over the space.
Chinatown: Swanky Sichuan restaurant Tang Hotpot has permanently shut down after racking up insurmountable financial losses during the pandemic. “We couldn’t be more disappointed that we won’t be able to continue serving our community, nor being a part of the Chinatown neighborhood,” a closing notice on the restaurant’s website reads. “This honestly really hurts.” Sister restaurant the Tang on the Upper West Side remains open for takeout and delivery.
Columbus Circle: Russian pelmeni specialist Daa Dumplings has permanently shuttered its food stall inside Turnstyle Market at the Columbus Circle subway station. The team is working on transitioning to a new, aboveground location nearby, according to a post on Instagram. The company continues to sell bags of frozen pelmeni online, available for delivery in NYC.
Hell’s Kitchen: Longstanding Italian seafood restaurant Esca is closing its doors permanently, according to an announcement from ownership. “We have been put in an almost impossible situation,” owners Victor Rallo and Dave Pasternack wrote in a post on Instagram. “With the future still uncertain, we have no choice but to end Esca’s illustrious run on 43rd Street.” Midtown restaurants like Esca have been hit particularly hard during the pandemic due to loss of tourism and the shutdown of Broadway theaters. Rallo and Pasternack noted that they hope to reopen in the future “elsewhere in New York City.”