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Chef Dan Kluger Shuts Down His Long Island City Expansion After a Year — and More Closings

A regularly updated roundup of closed restaurants in New York City

Pedestrians walk on a wet sidewalk alongside a storefront with “Penny Bridge” printed in yellow on the glass.
Outside Penny Bridge at night
Penny Bridge

More than two years after New York’s first indoor dining shutdown, restaurants and bars continue to struggle. More than 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 a Japanese health food cafe with a grudge in the Lower East Side and a long-running pizzeria in Staten Island. If a restaurant or bar has closed in your neighborhood, let us know at ny@eater.com. This post will be updated regularly.


August 12

East Village: August 6 was the last day of service for Grape and Grain, which specialized in wines and tapas like pickled oysters and house-made ricotta cheese with grapes, tarragon, and verjus. Since opening more than 15 years ago, ownership switched over to TJ Provenzano, who’s also behind the Rooftop Reds vineyard in the Brooklyn Navy Yard and Rosella in the East Village. An Instagram post from the Grape and Grain team hinted that the team may be opening a new spot in the same space.

Greenwich Village: A pioneer in the realm of Chinese guokui, Crop Circle brought round, “bigger than your face” stuffed wheat flatbreads that it named itself after. Favorites included guokui filled with spicy beef and taro; salted egg and pork floss; and shrimp. The store has gone dark, and the phone is disconnected.

Long Island City: Celebrated chef Dan Kluger’s Penny Bridge is serving its final meals on August 12. In early 2021, Kluger — who also runs Loring Place in Greenwich Village — welcomed patrons to seasonal dishes that have since included summer squash campanelli and nachos with strawberry tomato salsa at his second restaurant. The LIC spot was an anticipated milestone for the chef whose resume includes Union Square Cafe then under Danny Meyer as well as Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s ABC Cocina and ABC Kitchen, where he led the team to a 2011 James Beard Award. “Its definitely not the outcome we had hoped for but I am so incredibly proud of the restaurant we created,” he wrote in an Instagram post.

Lower East Side: Japanese health food cafe AO Bowl is blaming its closure squarely on Senator Chuck Schumer, reports EV Grieve. A two-page farewell letter posted to the glass door says, “Sen. Schumer stabbed us in the back after first promising and then failing to replenish the SBA Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF). This would have reimbursed us for costs we had to bear from the government-mandated closures. Many large restaurant chains got millions from the RRF while small businesses like us got nothing, even after being approved.” It debuted in early 2021 with slow-cooked onsen egg bowls and matcha coconut smoothies.

Lower East Side: More than two years ago, fast casual restaurant iSouklavi brought pitas and platters centered on chicken, loukaniko, and pork grilled on skewers to the neighborhood. EV Grieve reports that the storefront signage and location listing on the website are now gone. Owner James Paloumbis is also behind Gossip Coffee in Astoria and Merakia in Flatiron.

Staten Island: August 12 marks the last day of service for Nunzio’s after an 80-year run in Staten Island. “My grandfather used to take me here and it means a lot,” a long-time customer wrote in the comments of the pizzeria’s Instagram post announcing its closure. Grub Street has even penned an ode to what will now become a cabinet showroom.

Union Square: After 15 years of drawing customers in for inexpensive booze, Trader Joe’s wine shop just below Union Square came to an abrupt end with an unceremonious goodbye note posted on the storefront yesterday.


August 5

East Village: In 2018, Dia brought Roman-style thin-crust pizza and pasta to the East Village, and EV Grieve reports that it has now closed. A representative confirms with Eater that Dia is indeed “closed and up for sale.” The closing, however, has touched a nerve among New Yorkers who want abandoned outdoor dining sheds removed.

Lower East Side: In late 2020, Ooh La La Cafe opened and created a hangout atmosphere involving soups and salads, Jenga games, football broadcasts, and a drunken piñata party. But it came to a close on July 10, reports Bowery Boogie.

Midtown West: Daa! Dumplings began with grab-and-go pelmeni pop-ups at Urbanspace in 2017, eventually opening retail locations inside Columbus Circle’s subway station and a standalone shop a couple of blocks away, both of which are closed. “We closed all retail operations due to the conditions presented in post-pandemic NYC, and its effects on small businesses,” the company said on its website. It's not gone for good though: The pelmeni is still sold online and at grocery stores.

Union Square: Panera closed its Union Square location, sandwiched between Mount Sinai hospital and GNC along the eastern edge of the park, on August 2, reports EV Grieve.

Williamsburg: In 2003, Caracas Arepa Bar co-owners Maribel Araujo and Aristides Barrios brought Venezuelan arepas to an NYC restaurant scene in which they were scarce. The reception was so great the team, at its peak, was helming outposts in the East Village, Rockaway Beach, and Williamsburg. Sunday, July 31 was the last day of service in the Brooklyn spot, and the owners hosted a yard sale for everything from forks to art. Only the beachside concession stand is still rocking, with live music and DJ sets.

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