The Japanese-inspired hot dog restaurant by way of Vancouver opened the first U.S. outlet at 30 St. Mark's Place to great fanfare in January 2012.
And now, word is circulating that Japadog will be closing after business tonight. No reason given at the moment for the closure.
A quick reaction via Twitter…
No more Japadog after today. Sad face. 😢 (at @Japadog w/ 2 others) http://t.co/IkuyBR9Jrn— Calvin Williams (@ccwii) February 28, 2014
We spotted the listing for the Japadog space yesterday on Craigslist, though we didn't realize the place was closing this quickly:
***Exclusive Listing by Exit Realty Landmark***
Newly renovated restaurant with full basement. Vented both on the grand floor and basement. 9 ft ceiling.
No Key Money.
W & B in place
New 10 Yr Lease available.
1500 sqft, same basement
Wide Front approx 20 ft
3 seasons of outdoor seating
St. Marks Place, located at heart of East Village. Amazing foot traffic.
We'll have more on this later… but if you want one one last umami dog with those bonito flakes, better hurry…
[H/T EVG Facebook friend Leslie Feffer]
Previously on EV Grieve:
Cue the long lines: Japadog opening first New York City location on St. Mark's Place
Thanks for the update EV, I guess I can cross Japadog off my deathwatch list from last August 23, which is posted on your item about the Nicolette deathwatch. Nicolette is still pretty dead, it won't be long now. I also had India Row on the list, now that Banjara moved into Haveli there is only one anchor Indian restaurant left on the block. As one Knick used to famously say, This ship be sinking.
Is it too soon to add the E-smoke Shop and the new southern place that hasn't even opened yet at 7A to the list? Or that other new place, what's it called, Dog & Bone?
I'd like to add Chipotle but their food is fresh and they are stll way too busy, but by next year there will be so much competition they may need to start closing a few locations down.
From last August:
Japadog. Now that Papaya King is open on St Marks Place you can get hotdogs and veggie dogs with fancy toppings for half the price, it will be interesting to see if this Japadog has any fight left in it. It's mostly empty, and they have even resorted to giving away free samples, something Papaya King never had to do.
wah wah wah new businesses are good for the area.
One of the places I was excited to never go to. Next up, them biscuits boys.
Hey Giovanni - I love the idea that you think Chipotle is going to be closing some locations down. When was the last time you saw a major fast-food joint close locations?
And to add to my last comment: Giovanni - Chipotle is adding tofu to the menu, and apparently it's delicious. Tofu motherfuckters - T.O.F.U.! They're going to vegetarians by the buttload - or whatever interger of measure we're using to count vegetarians.
You think this will impact Crif Dogs' business—or has it already?
Thanks for the tip about Papaya King; I didn't know they offered veggie dogs. Now I'll go over and try them.
Subway closed its location on Second Avenue near East 9th St. it's now Otto's Tacos. Quiznos closed on St. Mark's Place.
Long live Crif!
after subway it was good guys burger. they actually had good burgers. but no one ever went there. always empty.
Subway and Quizno's do not equal Chipotle. The demographic that now hangs out on St. Marks (most NYU students) do no eat subs, but they do tons of burritos, or burrito-less burrito-bowls... Tex-Mex has been shown to be the healthiest of all the fast foods, if you do it right. If Chipotle on St. Marks closes in that location due to an increase in rent it'll just reopen somewhere within a block of that location.
A few years back Starbucks closed several major locations, on 8th St off of University, on 28th and 3rd, 54th and 1st, and many others nationwide, they expanded too fast and the rent and competition caught up with them. Recently Starbucks has started adding locations, including the one they stole away from Mee Noodles, but it took years to find the right locations.
Amost every major chain has had problems with rapid expansion or bad locations including 7-11, Subways, Quiznos, Tim Hortons, Krispy Kreme, Boston Market, Carvel, Burger King, Pinkberry, now even the mighty Japadog, the list is as long as Zoltars private parts are rumored to be.
Chipotle may or may not be getting too big for its britches, and even with a good product there are many local taquerias sporouting up in the Village with loyal followers, more unique flavors and ingredients, so a few Chipotles may be the next on my deathwatch list. But don't worry, even if St Marks Place closes, the chain will survive.
When Japadog opened they were trying to sell $8-9 hotdogs. Next to a dollar pizza place. Anyone that thought they would last was delusional.
"but they do tons of burritos, or burrito-less burrito-bowls..."
Could you elaborate on those burrito bowls, please?
On an entirely different note: I always comment using the same nom de plume rather than as 'Anonymous'. It makes it easier to get a feel of continuity and a poster's particular vantage points. As always, just my 2 cents.
I believe the proper term is a "spork" of vegetarians.
I will miss Japadog. I would stop in for one every once in awhile, and the people who work there were always friendly. Last year, they had a stand at the Japan Festival on 3rd Avenue.
Hey Giovanni - I love the idea that you think Chipotle is going to be closing some locations down. When was the last time you saw a major fast-food joint close locations?"
Might not be as popular as Chipotle but Qdoba closed all their Manhattan locations this past year. So there's that.
I prefer the term bushels of vegetarians, as opposed to a herd of meat-eaters, but that's beside the point.
Japadog was a hot idea for a minute, until it wasn't, plus the post above is right, the pricing was too high. The problem with relying on higher priced faddie food is that all those NYU students that Japadog and Chipotle rely on have the attention span of a gnat with A.D.D. and are not exactly loyal customers.
Once Papaya King opened with all the toppings and loyal customers, it was over for Japadog, and Chipotle may be next.
Pricing is also a problem at Chipotle where the average check is $9, double that of other major chains. If you add a margarita its $15, without the ambiance of a Mexican dive or Taqueria. With the prices of their fresh ingredients skyrocketing, when they push prices over $10 customers will start to flee.
If Taco Bell ever opens nearby that could also help push them out. I can get a 7 layer burrito for a third the price of a Chipotle bowl or burrito, plus there are no budget options. Sometimes people just don't want all that much food, especially since a single burrito can be over 1000 calories, and they're loaded with sodium.
I'll miss Japadog because it was at least a little bit different, maybe they should try JapaBurger next time around.
Anonymous, you know who you are, when is the Japan Festival?
Dang, I wanted to like this place. I was pre-excited before it even opened. I dug their concept and the flavor combos, but ultimately their dogs weren't sassy enough for this area IMO. I'm not even a native of here but I don't see how you could get by selling anything other than the Nathan's/Papaya King/Gray's style of snappy, salty, skinny dogs. Japadog was using these big pillowy, spongy things. Their buns were too big too. That seemed to make for kind of a blandified experience. I always thought that if they had used NY style dogs in their concoctions, they could've kicked some ass.
Good place for a titty bar.
@Giovanni - there was a Japaburger, called something like BentoBurger, on E 2nd between 1st and Ave A. You will note my use of the past tense.
I'm happy to see JapDog gone. Any place that serves scoops of ice cream on hotdog buns is an abomination unto God.
I believe the Japan Festival on 3rd Avenue was in June last year. I haven't heard anything about an event this year, but I hope there will be one.
Spoke to 2 of the managers there. They said they were going to relocate somewhere else in the city
This place would do very well on the Upper East Side since they'll eat just about anything up there.
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