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New Yorkers Are Lining Up For One Last Taste of Papaya King Before Demolition

Plus, Shake Shack is headed to the Lower East Side — and more intel

Papaya King’s Upper East Side location is covered in yellow menu signs as an employee works at right of frame.
Papaya King is set to be demolished after 90 years on the Upper East Side.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Longtime New Yorkers and first-time customers are lining up at Papaya King, the Upper East Side institution that’s scheduled to be demolished by Extell, the real estate developer behind the stretch of Manhattan known as Billionaire’s Row. A demolition date hasn’t been set for the 90-year-old institution, but that isn’t stopping fans of the brand from stopping by for what could be one last order of hot dog with papaya juice, Gothamist reports. Richard Barnett, 81, reflected on the restaurant’s significance to the publication on a recent visit: “The fact that this tasted good 70 years ago when I was eleven says a great deal. It says that there is a certain kind of continuity... and that ordinary people can have good taste.”

Deli worker hit by a car, then robbed

A deli worker crossing the street in the Bronx was mowed down by a car, seriously injured, then robbed, Daily News reports. A video captured the incident, when a group in a four-door black sedan jumped the median, hit the man, then took the 39-year-old’s fanny pack, according to an NYPD video. The worker, originally from Guatemala, was struck at 6:40 a.m. Saturday crossing E. 169th St. near Home Street. He remains in the hospital in critical condition. The police have asked the public for help in tracking down suspects.

New churro spot opens in the East Village

El Churro has opened at 175 East Houston Street, at Allen Street, with a window that allows onlookers to watch as churros are made. The spot also sells ice cream and coffee. The hours, for now, are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., with plans to open until 10 p.m. or midnight on weekdays and until midnight or 2 a.m. on weekends, according to EV Grieve. The corner space had been home to Eastanbul Gyro Kebab and Smyrna Bakery, and before that, Empire Gyro, which opened in February 2019.

Shake Shack to open on LES in former McNally space

Shake Shack is on track to open on the Lower East Side in what had been Keith McNally’s Schiller’s Liquor Bar from 2003 to 2017, according to Bowery Boogie. Schiller’s closed because the rent was too high at 131 Rivington Street, at Norfolk Street, according to Sophie McNally. The space has not had a permanent tenant since Schiller’s closed. Eater has reached out to a spokesperson for Shake Shack to find out when the location is scheduled to open.