Monday, November 2, 2009

Habib's Place abruptly closes

Habib's Place on Avenue A near Sixth Street has abruptly closed. Really closed. (And you can now see the name of one of the former occupants...)

Thanks to EV Grieve reader Creature for the tip and photo. According to Creature: "I swear this was a fully functioning restaurant [Saturday]. I caught a look inside, before the gate was closed, and the place was gutted. Including the name blacked out."

This was Habib's third location in the East Village since 1992.


Anonymous said...

oh no i love habib's!

Melanie said...

Habib's was good. I just walked by their desserts display last week.

Anonymous said...

Oh, no, not again. Poor Habib.

He's a great cook--the best couscous in the city according to the NYT, twice!--and yet he's saddled with trying to make other people's iffy falafel stands work. And, as everyone who knows him knows, Habib is a great guy. I hope the reason it went under was that Habib got a better offer elsewhere but that's unlikely. It's more likely that the guys who owned the place went under.

Why, oh, why doesn't some smart stable restauranteur hire Habib to run a small couscous joint? He doesn't need much, he's used to working in tiny spaces, but he needs an audience that's a step above the drunken kids on Ave. A. I felt bad for Habib when he lost his place on 9th St. after putting so much work into the place. And then he broke his leg playing soccer and really struggled. The new place was a compromise, at best. He didn't own it or really even have a stake in it, other than his name.

ak said...

habib's has been my favorite falafel place in the neighborhood for years - no matter what location he's been at.

i stopped by ray's late night this weekend and ray told me the sad news. it was the only falafel place that i enjoyed eating at in the neighborhood. (falafel on a wrap! great! filling!) the other guy that worked with habib at this location was really great as well. whatever, sad sad sad news. there's so many unappetizing falafel joints - can't habib take over one of those? get a different store front? share ray's space? oh, the personalities! can one imagine?! whatever - i guess i'm back to cafe rakka.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know what happened?

I really liked Habib.

EV Grieve said...

I wish I knew what happened. I recall seeing it open on Saturday too. So the entire place was gutted, canopy ripped down, etc., all on the end of the day, it looked like the photo Creature passed along.

Anonymous said...

When I asked them Saturday they said "no business" was the reason they closed.
So my question is again, should we be complaining about people coming to the East Village to eat, drink and spend money?
To me it seems like we should welcome everyone, after all we do live in a city and noise comes along with it.
I'm referring to the complaining about noise in/outside of bars by community boards.
Just look around the streets and see how many storefronts are empty.
Gentrification is a ugly word but stagnation is far worse.

Anonymous said...

I loved Habib's. Great food, great guy, great prices. I suppose the new breed of people coming into the neighborhood to partake of the bars and restaurants couldn't appreciate an old timey place like this, not enough glass and mirrors to gaze into while they wait for their food.

Anonymous said...

:( Damnit! I love Habibs if anyone hears of him opening somthing new, please post it on here! i never got to say bye:(