Monday, January 27, 2014

A look at three possibly endangered restaurants, courtesy of the Daily News

With so many closures of late, the Daily News files a story titled "In New York's tough restaurant marketplace, some fave places are on the endangered list."

The paper's list of five includes three in these parts — The Hat/El Sombrero, Yonah Schimmel Knish Bakery and the Stage.

The Hat's situation has been well-covered here ... and here. The Ludlow Street classic remains open for now.

Meanwhile, Ellen Anistratov, the owner of Yonah Schimmel Knish Bakery on East Houston, insists that she would like to expand the small knishery that opened in 1910. Still, she admits that business has been off. Per the News:

"In 2012, the city cut off two lanes of Houston St. for construction. Since most of Schimmel's customers now come from outside Manhattan, business tanked, and Anistratov feared she might have to shutter. For now, fanatical followers are keeping it afloat."

Finally, there's EVG favorite the Stage Restaurant on Second Avenue. There has been concern here since news broke that Icon Realty, not exactly known for appreciating preservation and EV institutions, bought the building that houses the Stage. We hear that there's five-plus years left on the lease.

Stage owner Roman Diakun told the News: "I haven't had discussions with the new owners. I haven't even seen them. I just keep sending checks." Business, he says, "has been OK, but a little tough. The Polish and Ukrainian people are mostly gone, and their kids left."

Recently, a rumor surfaced that John's Pizzeria in the Village was closing. Fortunately, that's not the case. But as Jeremiah Moss put it last week: "[I]t's a good reminder to take the time to enjoy the authentic New York places we still have. We know now that anything can vanish, no matter how successful and revered, at any time."

Previously on EV Grieve:
An appreciation: Breakfast at Stage

Troubling talk about 128 Second Ave, and the long-term future of the Stage

128 Second Ave. has been sold

An appreciation: Yonah Schimmel's dumbwaiter


onemorefoldedsunset said...

The Stage is irreplaceable - no better counter in the city. Even though I don't live in the EV any more, I always come back here, and have brought family visiting from Poland here. Horrible to think of it disappearing.

Anonymous said...

As a 1st generation transplant to EV from Eastern Europe, I truly appreciate places like Stage, Streecha, and 1st Ave Pierogi Deli. They help me feel like home here. Even for people without Eastern European ancestry, these businesses add a lot to the area's character and I hope they persevere.

Maybe we should take a page from Emmmmmmpire Biscuit and market Stage to drunks? How about: "Have some varenyky / pierogi while hangover. It's worked in Eastern Europe for centuries!"

Anonymous said...

There must be some kind of subsidy/landmark business designation/something that cities can use to help these sorts of businesses hang on, no? Seems extremely tricky, though. How would you keep landlords from exploiting it with endless rent hikes? How would you keep political corruption out of it? We'd better figure out something, though -- we won't have the likes of The Stage or Cup and Saucer for long in this town the way things are.

Laura Goggin Photography said...

I had about three heart attacks while reading this post.

nygrump said...

After my run in with the yahoos in Souen yesterday "You're ruining our experience" - yes they really said that- I realize genocide is complete, the destruction of our culture is over.

uncle Pete said...

I always wondered why Roman shut his spot down in the evenings, he's never open past 8 or 9, lots of money to be made on that corner. He's shooting himself in the foot not staying open till midnight. even if he plops two guys behind the counter to serve a limited bratwurst / perogie menu to keep it quick and easy. I'm sure he could get some Veselka-bred late night help. That or give me the keys and I'll serve canned beer, steamed sausage and challah bread till 1am thurs-sat and hand him a wad of cash on sunday afternoon. Long Live Stage

Gojira said...

Sadly, to add on to the misery, I walked into Neptune this morning at 8 AM, prime breakfast hour, and there was literally not one customer in it besides myself, and I was only getting coffee to go.

Anonymous said...

if the stage goes, I'm going. the. end.

Anonymous said...

uncle pete, i will help you with that plan; 9:36, AGREE