It’s been a tough start to the year for New York restaurants and bars: At least 50 places closed in January alone. This weekend, another round of businesses shut down. Irene’s Place, a longstanding Polish pub, closed in Greenpoint after 44 years. Owner Irene Kabala announced the news with a sign on the door: “We are closing our doors and moving on.” The bar was known for its Polish beers and music, played from a jukebox. Brooklyn Magazine first reported news of the closure.
A decades-old gay bar closes...
The Hangar, a decades-old gay bar, also recently closed. The bar opened 31 years ago at 115 Christopher Street, between Bleecker and Hudson streets. Last month, it broke the news to customers with a sign on the front door: “We are saddened by the sudden closing, but it could not be helped.”
...and so does a ‘secret’ Thai restaurant
A year after opening, Astoria’s Secret Thai Street Food is moving to Long Island. H Lopez Marketplace, a grocery store, has been sub-leasing its back counter and dining room to Vasinee Levy, co-founder of Secret Thai Street Food, for $4,000 a month. The market recently raised the rent to $7,000, and opened up the dining area to other customers in the mixed-use space, according to Levy. She refused the offer. Levy and her sister are moving the business to a 100-seat storefront at 150 Woodcleft Avenue, near Hamilton Street in Freeport, Long Island. Secret Thai Kitchen, the new name of the business, is slated to open with an expanded menu next month. Its last day in Queens is February 25. — Caroline Shin, contributor
The new rules of outdoor dining
Mayor Eric Adams announced on Friday the final rules for the city’s permanent outdoor dining program, which only permits outdoor setups for eight months of the year. The rules are based on a set of draft regulations proposed last fall, based on feedback from residents and restaurant operators. Under the guidelines, dining structures cannot operate after midnight, cannot be fully enclosed, or cannot exceed 40 feet by 8 feet. The most controversial change: Outdoor structures in city streets are only be permitted from April 1 to November 29, meaning operators will have to dismantle and rebuild their setups each year. The new rules go into effect March 3; the deadline to apply for a permit is August 3.