Thursday, July 5, 2018

Yuan Noodle has closed on 2nd Avenue

[Top 2 photos via Chris Rowland]

Yuan Noodle has closed at 157 Second Ave. less than a year after debuting to positive notices here between Ninth Street and 10th Street.

There are two signs on the front window. As of yesterday afternoon, one sign noted that the business was for sale (via Yuan's owner Jacob Ding, who's also a commercial real-estate broker) ... and the other one, upside down, noted a closing sale...

Upon opening last summer, Eater wrote that Yuan "is nothing short of spectacular." The New York Times praised Yuan's signature Guilin mi fen (rice noodles).

In recent weeks, Yuan started looking like a restaurant that was closing, offering 2-for-1 shot deals ...

... and signs for all-night happy hours and $25-all-you-can-drink specials...

Anyway, not sure what happened here. (There isn't any note about the closing on the Yuan website.) This has been a challenging space to make work. Biang! — the sit-down Chinese restaurant via Xi'an Famous Foods owner Jason Wang — closed here back in March 2017 after 15 months in business. The previous tenant, Wylie Dufresne's bistro Alder, closed after two-and-a-half years at the end of August 2015.

As noted before, if Wang and Dufresne, given their successes, couldn't make the space work ... not sure who can. Other recent restaurants here (before 2013) included Plum and Cafe Brama.

In May, applicants from Butter Midtown received CB3's OK to open a Mexican restaurant at No. 157. Given the business-for-sale sign, this deal apparently fell through.

Despite the application on file at the CB3 website, Ding told Eater in May that his restaurant was not closing.


Anonymous said...

I never tried their noodles but when they switched to dim sum, I went several times. The dim sum was excellent, better than any others around. Disappointed to see it go.

It’s a big space to fill with enough diners to cover the rent. The incoming new dumpling space is tiny and will be ok if the food is decent. I hope it’s an alternative to Yuan.

Anonymous said...

Their Mi Fen was awesome, unlike any other bowl in the city -- and their dumplings in truffle chili oil were also excellent. This is really unfortunate..

sophocles said...

I can tell you what happened: The noodles were not spectacular in a market saturated with noodles, with a rent that is presumably through the roof. If you regularly walked by Yuan the closing was predictable. I have nothing against noodles (or do I now?), but opening yet another noodle place in the E.V. seems a very risky business.