Leaving the East Village for this post... where EVG reader Stephen Popkin shares this news: the Benjamin Restaurant & Bar on Second Avenue at 33rd Street has abruptly closed as of yesterday.
Here's the sign greeting patrons...
Per the note:
"Due to the incredible strains put onto small neighborhood Restaurants, the current economic environment, the totally unmanageable Labor Laws to small businesses, the incredible Greed of the City's Health Dept., this incredibly popular neighborhood favorite has no choice but to close its doors. Once a very successful neighborhood meeting place, Beginning as Mumbles in 1974, we have totally enjoyed all of the great relationships that we have formed in the neighborhood."
As the sign says, Benjamin Catering will live on "hopefully very soon."
The second location of Mumbles closed after 22 years in business at Third Avenue and 17th Street back in February.
As for the Benjamin, it was a pleasant, unpretentious neighborhood spot for a drink or meal after, say, a movie at the AMC Loews Kips Bay.