Two years after New York’s first indoor dining shutdown, restaurants and bars continue to close their doors. At least 1,000 have closed since March 2020 due to the economic downturn caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Due to the difficulty of tracking restaurant and bar closings, experts say that number could be even higher, and will likely take months or even years to assess.
Among them are West Village burrito mainstay Benny’s Burritos as well as eight-year-old Bed-Stuy favorite Eugene and Company. 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.
Clinton Hill: Brooklyn Shawarma, a fast casual shawarma spot that first opened in 2018, has shuttered. Google lists the business as permanently closed and a for rent sign was spotted by Eater. Multiple calls to the restaurant went unanswered.
Clinton Hill: Across the street from Brooklyn Shawarma, Buka is relocating after 13 years at its current location. Owners Lookman Mashood and Nat Goldberg catapulted the Nigerian neighborhood spot to one of the city’s foremost West African restaurants, importing hard-to-find ingredients like alligator peppers. After spotting a “for rent” sign in the window, Eater confirmed the closure with the team, who added that they would be moving the Nigerian restaurant down the street to 1111 Fulton Street, near Claver Place. The relaunched Buka will open sometime this spring. The team did not give a reason for the move.
Soho: Storied Jewish spot Sarge’s Delicatessen and Diner is closing its ghost kitchen operation, according to owner Steve Thall. Thall tells Eater that the Sarge’s ghost kitchen opened in 2019, inside of Zuul Kitchens, which later was taken over by Kitchen United Mix. At the time, he hoped to capture office workers, until the pandemic proved to be too much for the ghost kitchen arm of Sarge’s business. The team will focus its efforts on its original, full-service location in Murray Hill, which is over 50 years old.
Bed-Stuy: Nearly eight-year-old neighborhood spot Eugene and Company has called it quits as of February 28. Owner Tara Oxley shared in an Instagram post in mid-February that she is transferring the business to former natural wine shop operators Laura Poladsky and Caitlin Frame. The duo is planning to reopen the space under the name Oddly Enough with a new menu and look on April 1.
East Village: Beloved scoop shop Davey’s Ice Cream closed its doors on March 3, according to EV Grieve. In an Instagram post announcing the closure, owner David Yoo hinted that the nine-year-old shop may relocate elsewhere in the neighborhood. Meanwhile, its Greenpoint outpost remains open and a new location is slated for the Moynihan Train Hall.
Midtown East: Popular Mexican restaurant Blockheads has shut down after 29 years, according to a post on Instagram. The Second Avenue location was the last remaining of the restaurant’s outposts, which previously included locations on the Upper West Side, Hell’s Kitchen, East Village, and White Plains. The restaurant did not give a reason for its closure.
West Village: Benny’s Burritos, a sibling burrito spot to Blockheads run by the same owners, announced on Instagram that it was also shutting down on the same day as the Mexican restaurant. Benny’s has been a neighborhood staple in the West Village since first opening in 1988, and was known for its San Francisco Mission-style burritos, often considered a rarity in New York City. The business did not give a reason for its closure.