Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Paquito's Restaurant closing after 25 years on 1st Avenue; take out and delivery will remain


[Image via Google Maps]

Paquito’s will shut down its restaurant and bar at 143 First Ave. near Ninth Street after service on Dec. 30. This news was first announced on the Paquito’s Facebook page.

However, fans of the usually-reliable Mexican restaurant can take some solace in that Paquito's will maintain a to-go counter and delivery service in the space next door to the restaurant.

The owners didn't provide a reason for the closure, offering: "It has truly been a pleasure to serve the East Village for all these years. Please feel free to visit our Take-Out & delivery next door which will continue to serve our same great tasting food."

Paquito's opened in 1992. Their location on Third Avenue between 16th Street and 17th Street closed several years ago.

Thanks to EVG reader Susan for the tip!

27 comments:

Anonymous said...

Agh, I love Paquito's and their garden in the back!

Anonymous said...

Love Paquitos but this was a long time coming. The sit down side was always mostly empty and the service was beyond slow.

sophocles said...

The garden, like most restaurant gardens in the neighborhood, is not legal. That should be a backyard for the residents.

Anonymous said...

This sucks. The back was a fantastic place to eat.

Anonymous said...

Not surprised. The food was decent and at good prices, but the inside of the restaurant was always empty. I did love that garden though. I hope the next place makes good use of it.

Anonymous said...

@sophocles - there is no law that says a building's backyard should be for the residents

Vince said...

Glad to hear the delivery side is staying open. That part of the restaurant always seems to do good business. I was there just last night!

Anonymous said...

Paquitos has always been there for me.

Anonymous said...

@sophocles - gibberish. the backyard is usually tied to the ground floor apartment only, not for use by "the residents"

plenty of restaurants have back spaces.

Goggla said...

Ugh! I liked Paquitos as it was reasonably priced, had good food, and wasn't loud so I could take visitors there and we could actually have a conversation while we ate. Another good place gone.

Ann said...

This is really sad. That garden was one of the last charming places left in the east village. It wasn't crowded with scenesters, you could actually go with a bunch of people and have nice long dinner and conversation (in the mediterranean style) without being rushed and hounded like in the rest of the city. New Yorkers are so used to being rushed, they complain (as in the comments on this post) when waitstaff are not coming to them every other minute. Now I'm guessing the place will be taken over by yet another cookie-cutter sleek-looking soulless new place. We'll have to trek to Brooklyn or Queens (like SriPraPhai with its garden) to find charming spots.

Anonymous said...

That's it. All done. I'm outa here.
There's really nothing left. Nothing.
Fin.

Anonymous said...

Oops. Should have read further down that take-out is sticking around.
Ok. I'll stay a little longer.

Anonymous said...

LOL @ 12:17pm ... whew!

sophocles said...

To my friends at 10:50 AM and 12:01 PM: It's called zoning. In residential districts buildings are generally required to have a backyard that is 30 feet deep from the rear lot line, and is ACCESSIBLE to the tenants. If you don't believe me, contact the City Planning Commission. The fact that this zoning regulation is mostly ignored doesn't make those commercial spaces legal. Imagine if everyone had the backyard garden that they are supposed to have...

Anonymous said...

Agreed with Goggla -- I often took out of town guests to eat in Paquito's garden. It was really the perfect spot for an evening catching up with friends.

Anonymous said...

@sophocles if everyone had the backyard garden they were supposed to you'd be reading daily threads and comment sections about noisy parties and bros...oh wait...

Anonymous said...

I used to eat at Paquito's back in the day, but it was never particularly clean, and since the advent of DoH restaurant grades they never once managed to get an A.

Gojira said...

Arrrrgh! Will the bad news never end?!? I, too, loved the garden and the leisurely pace of eating in it, and can't believe that's being taken from us, too! @sophocles, whether you like it or not, that garden goes with the commercial spot, and whoever takes the space will utilize it the same way Paquito's did; I garontee the landlord will put it in the listing as part of the sales pitch. Let's just hope - although experience tends to dictate otherwise - that it will be as quiet and adult an establishment, and not a screaming broho joint where the garden will turn into a nightly shit show.

Anonymous said...

When Paquitos first opened back in the 80's it was only takeout and did a great business. I spent many nights waiting for my order.Then they rented the adjoining storefront which was frankly never a big success. So they're going back to their original roots. They should do fine. They always had a busy take out counter

sophocles said...

People are entitled to their affection for Paquito's. The larger picture is that innumerable landlords have pirated open spaces by illegally extending their first floors. They own the buildings but they are not the lords of the land. I happen to think that open spaces are essential to our piece of mind and that the zoning laws should be enforced. Your mileage may vary.

Anonymous said...

I was a huge fan of their burritos camellas cono...hmm moy delicioso!

jeanbean said...

Once upon a time (1991 - 1994), I had succession of friends who lived in the building. At the time, Paquito's was just the takeout side and a there was a place with good falafel on the garden side. Tenants were permitted and not discouraged to spend time in the garden. The space was less closed in- that high brick/cinderblock wall on the left (south) side as you walk out now didn't yet exist. It was just a fence- maybe of wood but you could see into the adjacent back yard. We might order a falafel or a tea, but nobody bothered us if we didn't. We could just enjoy the sky above us and talk out our lives.

Anonymous said...

I go against the backyards. It is likely illegal, does the CB even check. Likely an upscale restaurant will come in which is good for old timers looking to cash in.

Anonymous said...

Re backyards, these are reviewed when an applicant come to the CB for a liquor license. Sometimes they’re legal, sometimes not, but even if legal they can be restricted. Show up at the SLA committee meeting if you see an application and make your feelings/concerns known.

Anonymous said...

I think the CB should check the co's bc the SLA doesn't.So many lives are destroyed bc of backyard dining and drinking and most don't have co'so, in many cases the business lies on their application so there are multiple ways to nail them. Many of the illegal backyards fall through the cracks for decades. It'seems a problem and some extra effort from the CB could be substantial. I know you are s r rapped but this could have a big impact.

Anonymous said...

I used to eat at this place all the time from roughly 2003-2010. However I had two different experiences there with mice. The first time was in the backyard when a mouse came falling out of one of the vine/planter things right behind my guest and ran across the backyard area. I chalked that one up to being in a backyard in the EV, but the second experience happened inside the restaurant when we were there with friends. A mouse ran clear across the floor of the restaurant and into a hole in the wall nearest the kitchen. That was it for me. I loved the food, the prices, and the servers as we were regulars and they always took good care of us but there was no way I was going back there after that.