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.
Below, Eater is documenting the city’s permanent restaurant closures, including East Village cocktail bar Pouring Ribbons and Chinatown’s red-sauce favorite Forlini’s. If a restaurant or bar has closed in your neighborhood, let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org. This post will be updated regularly.
Chelsea: Omai, a white tablecloth Vietnamese spot located near Chelsea’s many art galleries that made it on Eater’s own list of best Vietnamese spots, officially closed down. Omai, which had been open for nearly 20 years, was known for dishes like its bo bia (soft rice paper rolls). A note on the business website lists the business as closing at the end of April, while Google has marked the operation as permanently shuttered.
East Village: After appearing to be temporarily closed last summer, Rakka Cafe is officially shuttered, according to EV Grieve. A sign on the business states that Rakka owns $188,000 in rent backpay and the space has been emptied out. The original Cafe Rakka opened in 1972. In 2013, the name switched to Rakka Cafe, and it was not clear whether ownership also changed.
East Village: Strings Ramen, a noodle joint hailing from Chicago that first opened in February 2020, has called it quits, according to the EV Grieve. The local blog has a photo of a sign on the door that attributes the closing to complications due to COVID-19.
East Village: In February, EV Grieve noted that the writing was on the wall at Thai Direct. At the time, a notice was posted that stated that the landlord had “taken possession of the premises effective February 11.” Now, the publication has reported the closure as official. The fast casual Thai restaurant first opened in the neighborhood in 2018.
Gowanus: Lavender Lake, a sprawling beer spot with plenty of outdoor seating, shuttered in December, according to an Instagram post, but was not previously reported by Eater. The team tells Eater they will reopen under the same name in Williamsburg this summer.
Greenpoint: Floating boat bar Brooklyn Barge has closed its North Brooklyn operation, according to a business Instagram post, which claims that its landlord did not ask them to come back. The bar, which first opened in 2015, is currently looking for a new home.
Midtown East: The Great Northern Food Hall, the Nordic-themed Grand Central food hall led by Noma co-founder Claus Meyer, first opened in 2015, appeared to be closed since the onslaught of the pandemic, but things have remained hush-hush. Now, Meyer confirms to Eater that the food court — which housed five food stalls upstairs and the Michelin-starred Agern restaurant downstairs — inside of Vanderbilt Hall did, in fact, shutter as of March 2020. In its place, City Winery is opening a sprawling new bar and restaurant.
Boerum Hill: The Gumbo Bros, a Cajun restaurant reviewed by the New York Times, has closed its doors in Brooklyn after eight years. According to an Instagram post from the restaurant, the team decided to close because the “economics of the space” were no longer financially solvent during the pandemic. A second location in Nashville remains open, according to the restaurant’s website.
East Village: After opening last July, Bagel Boss is calling it quits on First Avenue, EV Grieve reports. The local bagel chain opened its first outpost in 1975 on Long Island and currently maintains 14 locations across New York.
East Village: Organic Grill, a vegan health food restaurant that first opened in 2000, shut down this month ahead of moving to Greenwich Village. According to the EV Grieve, co-owner Vlad Grinberg had planned for the new storefront at 133 West Third Street, between Sixth Avenue and MacDougal Street, to be a second location, but he decided to close the original as its lease was ending this summer. Grinberg tells EV Grieve that he hopes to eventually reopen at a different location in the East Village.
East Village: After eight years in the East Village, Southern food spot Root & Bone is no more. According to a spokesperson for the restaurant, the establishment closed on April 17 after reaching the end of its lease. Root & Bone has been lauded for its standout fried chicken throughout the years, which is also served from offshoots in Miami and Indianapolis that remain open. In 2017, owners and Top Chef alums Jeff McInnis and Janine Booth ran into legal troubles after a lawsuit alleged they used $290,000 of the restaurant’s money to renovate their apartment and finance a pop-up in Puerto Rico, among other expenses.
Chinatown: Manhattan red-sauce mainstay Forlini’s has closed down after nearly 70 years in the neighborhood. The old-school restaurant — a popular hangout for downtown court employees and, more recently, NYC’s fashion crowd — has been sold to an undisclosed buyer, according to owner Joe Forlini. It was a strange last few days for the storied spot: At first, Forlini planned to keep the establishment open until late April, but he abruptly changed course and shuttered at the end of March in a move that coincided with a shutdown order issued by the Department of Health.
East Village: One of NYC’s leading bars, Angel’s Share, officially shuttered at the end of March after failing to renew its lease. For weeks, multiple local news outlets had been reporting on the rumors of the impending closure, and what it would mean to lose a seminal cocktail bar. The shuttering marked the end of a nearly 30 year run for the East Village bar, located at 8 Stuyvesant Street, between Third Avenue and East Ninth Street. Angel’s Share wasn’t just any cocktail bar, though. It helped usher in the craft cocktail movement in the early aughts and many of today’s award-winning bars are helmed by bartenders that either worked at the establishment or looked up to the Japanese-style cocktail bar. Tony Yoshida, the bar’s owner, has not commented on the closure, but he did tell the New York Times that his daughter may reopen the speakeasy at a new location. The Yoshida family also owned Sunrise Mart and Panya bakery next door, which also closed.
Long Island City: The coal-fired ovens are no longer burning at neighborhood favorite Bella Via, LIC Talk reports. Less than a year after opening in 2002, the Italian restaurant garnered a glowing review by then-critic William Grimes in the New York Times.
Upper East Side: Historic Jewish appetizing shop Russ & Daughters has closed down its outpost inside the Jewish Museum. “After five successful years at the Jewish Museum, Russ & Daughters is refocusing on its core business,” reads a closing notice posted on the museum’s website. The century-old institution still maintains its original Lower East Side shop and nearby restaurant, plus a location in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Meanwhile, the museum is “exploring a variety of possibilities” for new dining options in the space, according to the message on its website.
Upper East Side: After 22 years, Bar Coastal noted on its website that it has closed shop. The uptown establishment was a destination for sports fan with West Coast vibes — surf boards and California-themed t-shirts hung from the ceiling — serving up wings, nachos, and beers.
Clinton Hill: The owner of the Social Butterfly confirmed with Eater via email that the club and lounge, located along a busy stretch of Atlantic Avenue just blocks from Barclays, has closed after nearly a decade.
East Village: This downtown neighborhood, which is home to some of the city’s top cocktail bars, lost a favorite when Pouring Ribbons shuttered on March 26. Owner Joaquín Simó not only mixed classic cocktails for patrons, but he set the spot apart with temporary themed menus — a popular hit was the Silk Road, which allowed bartenders to concoct cocktails using spices popular on the trade route connecting Europe and China — that gained a following among the city’s cocktail enthusiasts. The bar decided to not renew its lease to “move on after 10 chartreuse filled years,” according to its Instagram announcement in February.
East Village: EV Grieve reports that Ramen Setagaya’s St. Mark’s Place location has closed. The publication shared photos of what appeared to be a cleared-out restaurant. The ramen-ya no longer lists the restaurant on its website, and Eater has reached out for more information about the closure.
East Village: Quick-service sandwich shop Coddiwomple has closed down after only three months in the neighborhood, EV Grieve reports. The shop’s two other locations in Hell’s Kitchen and the Upper East Side also appear to have shut down.
Harlem: Since opening four months before the pandemic hit NYC in March 2020, Barcha has been serving up a menu with a mix of Latin and Mediterranean influences, from shrimp and tostones to shakshuka. Its last day of business is on April 1, ownership confirmed via Instagram.
Park Slope: Eight-year-old casual Greek restaurant Pitas and Sticks has shut down. “The 2 yrs + with Covid 19 really did us in,” the shop’s owner wrote in a closing announcement on Instagram. But it may not be gone for long: The owner wrote that the business may reopen as a downsized takeout-only spot elsewhere in the neighborhood.