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 an arepa bar in Williamsburg and a Roman-style pizzeria in the East Village. If a restaurant or bar has closed in your neighborhood, let us know at email@example.com. This post will be updated regularly.
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.