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New York’s ‘Best Cuban Restaurant’ Is Closing After 47 Years

Plus, signs of life at a famed West Village club — and more intel

An assortment of Cuban dishes at Rincon Criollo
Rincón Criollo is one of the best Cuban restaurants in town. In August, it will close to move to Long Island.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Rincón Criollo, a family-owned Cuban restaurant in Corona, Queens, will close on August 31. The restaurant has been open on Junction Boulevard since 1976, originally under the brothers Jesus Rene and Rodobaldo Acosta. Eater’s critic once called it “the best Cuban restaurant in town.” Esther and Rudy Acosta, who took over the restaurant from their great uncles in 2011, attributed the closure to the pandemic in an interview with the City earlier this month: “We never fully recovered from COVID,” they said. The decades-old restaurant was limited to takeout for much of the pandemic and its outdoor setup consisted of a single table; according to the Acostas, their rent was increasing later this year. The family now hopes to open another location in Long Island, where they opened a second restaurant in 2015.

Lidl is opening its first store in the Bronx

Lidl, a popular German supermarket chain, has announced several new locations in the works for New York City. There are two already open — in Astoria and Harlem — with two more scheduled to open over the next two years: in Chelsea and in Park Slope. The next discount grocer is planned for Bronx Terminal Market, at 700 Exterior Street, at East 153rd Street, according to the website Welcome2TheBronx. It will become the grocery chain’s first location in the northernmost borough. An opening date has not been announced.

A comeback at a famed West Village club

There are signs of a comeback at Le Poisson Rouge, the famed West Village club that went dark at the start of the pandemic. The popular independent venue, which has been open since 2008 at 158 Bleecker Street, between Thompson and Sullivan streets, closed at the start of the pandemic; it reopened in August 2021, but it hadn’t paid rent since then. It’s now in talks to square up its debts from the pandemic and extend its lease. Crain’s New York Business called it “an encouraging sign for the city’s nightlife sector.”

A hot dog counter goes up in smoke

Glizzy’s, a late-night hot dog counter that opened in December, is cooked. The grates have been down at the Metropolitan Avenue shop in recent weeks, and a for lease sign now hangs from the building. Johnny Huyghn, the restaurant’s owner, attributed the closure to low foot traffic. At one point, Huyghn planned to open dozens of hot dog shops in the city; now he’s focused on music festivals across the United States, he says. Google lists the restaurant’s second location in the East Village as temporarily closed.