Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Claim: The pandemic caused more bar-restaurant closings in the East Village than in any other NYC neighborhood

The pandemic has devastated countless businesses in the city these past 12 months.

And according to one tally, there were more bar-restaurant closings in the East Village than in any other NYC neighborhood. 

Citing statistics compiled by restaurant recommendation site the Infatuation, the Post reports that 55 establishments have closed in the East Village. 

Cutting and pasting:
By comparison, 21 restaurants closed in the West Village; 19 restaurants closed on the Lower East Side; 15 closed in both Williamsburg and Staten Island; 14 closed on the Upper West Side; 13 closed in Midtown; and 11 closed in Chinatown. Neighborhoods with 10 closings or less include the Upper East Side with 10, and six each in Murray Hill, Soho and FiDi, according to the Infatuation. 
Why so many here?
The problem, sources say, is that the East Village — sometimes referred to the city's version of "Bourbon Street" — boasts a young, late-night crowd that spends more money on booze than food, which means it was hit first by the lockdowns and then by the curfews, which now end at the geriatric hour of 11 p.m. 
One named source in the Post article is Stratis Morfogen, who's opening the automated Brooklyn Dumpling Shop on First Avenue and St. Mark's Place one of these days.
"The neighborhood is filled with college students and first-time apartment owners — people in their 20s who don't sit down to eat until after midnight. Pizzerias stay open here until 7 a.m. In most neighborhoods, food is 75 percent and liquor is 25 percent. In the East Village, it's the opposite. Liquor is a vital part of the East Village's restaurant business and it has been crushed by the curfew," Morfogen said. 
A few places on the Infatuation's list of 55 aren't in the East Village, such as Oatmeals on West Third Street and Nix on University Place. In addition, while Coyote Ugly on First Avenue closed, they relocated to 14th Street between Second Avenue and Third Avenue. 

There are also many closures that they didn't note, including B Bar & Grill on the Bowery, Lovenberg on Sixth Street, Vegan Love on 10th Street Dia, Atlas Cafe and Nostro on Second Avenue. Boilery on Third Avenue, the Dumpling House on Second Avenue, Native Bean on Avenue A, etc. 

So, unfortunately, the number is higher than 55. And I don't want to count myself ... to avoid turning this into some kind of sporting event. 


Anonymous said...

Lovenberg on Sixth Street was open for about 5 minutes...

The whole economy here is based on transients and tourists traveling on petroleum. It is the definition of unsustainable. Residents are considered a cost by the politicians.

JAMES said...

The article was poorly researched. Gem Spa did not close because of the Pandemic as I recall..It was a multitude of events including their losing their license to sell Tobacco products that caused them to go under.

noble neolani said...

The East Village and the Lower East Side (Hell Square) became the Mecca for 20-something's bars because the city and state allowed it to happed or most likely encouraged it to happen by handing out liquour licences to anyone who asked for one. Di Blasio demanded we have a nightlife somewhere to attract tourists and bring tax revenue from the sale of alcohol . He went so far as creating the offensive bullshit "nightlife mayor" position to make sure our residential neighborhood became saturated with unwanted bars and bars pretending to be restaurants.
With every bar closing I celebrate as a bit. Living in a commercial space monoculture of bars has cost the East Village big in quality of life and as the pandemic has shown diversity in retail means a more financially secure city.

dwg said...

Don't want to see businesses go under but the East Village and Lower East Side are over saturated with bars and restaurants making them a party zone. And for many of us Open Restaurants has only added to the nightmare of diner noise and music putting it all on the streets. Instead of working hard to create a rich and diversified mix of businesses the Mayor has gone all in with anything with a liquor license.

Anonymous said...

It's clear that NYC has DELIBERATELY ALLOWED the East Village to be over-saturated with bars - and I shed no tears for all the bars that are gone. Thank heavens they are gone, b/c it's improved the quality of life around here.

Why have the actual long-term residents here been stuck with such a lousy quality of life from bars? Is it just b/c bar owners are eager to make bank off of 20-somethings who can't think of anything better to do than to get drunk?

If de Blasio wants a "nightlife" area, he should choose a PIER on the West side and turn that into the designated get-drunk-zone. That could be effectively policed, and it would not keep hundreds of residents awake at all hours.

PS: Has the "nightlife mayor" been drawing her full salary this past year, and if so, WHY? She and her minions are a drain on the city's budget, and I hope the next mayor ELIMINATES this bogus "office" from the administration.

JAMES said...

How about a night-life zone where Mayor D'Assio LIVES? Park Slope sure could use one!!!

Anonymous said...

I'm surprised and a little apprehensive: the theater district has been decimated.

Anonymous said...

Lots of puritanical hatred in the comments here. Just want to remind you that you decided to move to a neighborhood that has been an arts and nightlife capital since the 1950s. The loss of these bars and their histories should be mourned, not celebrated. Take that energy to Park Slope!

Anonymous said...

EV being an "arts and nightlife capitol since the 1950's" has absolutely nothing to do with the drunken, loud, vomiting, whoo-hooing till 3 am that has been going on here since liquor licenses staring being given out to anyone and everyone. I have lived here for 30+ years, and EV residents who have been here as long or longer would no doubt say the same. I do not mourn the closing of any bars due to covid. I'm definitely sleeping better.

Anonymous said...

This too shall pass and the former bars will rise anew and the east village will regain lost glory. bank on it.

Anonymous said...

Why everyone is blaming the city for this? the bars are run by business men who have spotted an opportunity based on the area’s demographic. I don’t really know who to blame here as it’s a complex issue. Landlords are racing tenants out to “upgrade” their apartments so they can surge the areas rental price, catering to temporary accommodation such as students who don’t shop local and are using storefronts are showrooms for their online purchases. Maybe the city needs to create an incentive for other mom and pop shops to come in and add some diversity to the East village again.

The East village is a playground for the drunk. The noise is unbearable and there is no incentive to eliminate it. If you report to 311, nothing happens, a frat is partying all night on a balcony and you report to the landlord, nothing happens. People need to start laying down some ground rules, that if ignored will cost those who don’t follow them. I can’t tell you how many fights I get into because of loud drunken idiots on the streets of the East village when I tell them to have some goddamn respect as people live here. Mostly students.

Plus everyone likes to post “shop local”, “the East village is losing its stores” and “support small businesses” yet none of you ever get off your ass and go support those independent businesses. You just like to sound like a nice person online to soothe your ego.

Anonymous said...

EV- thanks for putting this up this article made my blood boil reading that line "the LES as the city's Bourbon Street" made me sick, our once easy living laid back beloved neighborhood is now a corporate owned and operated tourist destination for weekend gawking and transient living where homelessness and human suffering is an attraction.

Having lived here for 50 years it's never been this ugly and uncomfortable to live here the landlords don't care the bar owners don't care and the city sure as hell don't care about residents quality of life enough is truly enough

I suggest to all who say this is the way it is and we (those of us who have put down serious roots here) should move to someplace else the burbs or bklyn they take their own advice and relocate to this imaginary affordable oasis and leave us the hell alone

Shop local owned and considerate places and keep the resistance to this gutting of what was and can still be one of the most special places in the world to live

Anonymous said...

@12:07pm: You're wrong. I have lived here for almost 50 years, and it was NEVER "an arts and nightlife capital" until recent years (due to DORMITORIES!). Now people come here JUST to get drunk.

When I moved in, sure, there were bars, but not a zillion bars - and there were plenty of small mom-and-pop businesses that were NOT alcohol-based. I know exactly what this neighborhood was like back then, and it was NOT "trendy" or "desirable" in the way you claim. For instance, back then Webster Hall was a place for wedding receptions & banquets, not for super-loud concerts.

There are so many bar closures b/c here simply b/c there are *so* many bars in this area, and we're the "worst hit" in terms of bar closures for that reason only.

If the East Village has that many bars, it means *someone* in NYC administration decided it was OK for that to happen.

The majority of bars (Prof. Thom's, Finnerty's, The 13th Step, Ainsworth, VNYL, Linen Hall, etc.) are NOT bars that neighborhood residents would drop into for a beer or two, b/c we wouldn't feel comfortable there - and indeed, we're not their target audience. They are targeting the young who are ONLY out to drink, and that's a big difference!

If I wanted a drink or two, I'd go to the bar at Pangea or another nearby restaurant, where people are sane & behave decently.

I'd like to see a big shift in where bars are crowded together. How about putting this SAME concentration of bars up near Gracie Mansion, so the mayor and his family can "enjoy" the so-called "vibrancy" that we'll are forced to live with here. I bet the mayor wouldn't enjoy the endless noise, the fights, the harassment, and the vomiting.

JAMES said...

12:30..Agree with you 1000%

Anonymous said...

The bigger issue is the fact that many long time residents- who engaged in similar or worse behavior in the 70s and 80s- are now approaching their 70s and 80s and cant deal with the nightlife. I'm not sure what the answer is to aging in place in the EV. But if you have a dirt cheap stabilized apt maybe you should just deal with it or move. These people pay the market rates that make up for the rent you dont pay. The students, tourists, and bros are gone and the city is in big financial trouble as a result. Taking joy is seeing businesses close and people lose their jobs is sad and pathetic. If you have a stabilized apt and are still working or getting a pension/social security be grateful and hope the economy gets better so those young people you despise continue to fund your retirement

noble neolani said...

@12:07 PM.
I love when people born in the last 25 years give us a history lesson on NYC nightlife. LOL. I've been a resident for 40 years and what there was of nightlife in the 1980's you could count of one hand. People did not wander the streets shit faced because if they did they would be easy prey. Clubs and other nightlife places were concentrated in non-residential areas such as the not yet branded Tribecca, the warehouses in what is called West Chelsea, etc... places without residential neighbors. Dive bars were plenty but were filled with mostly artists and blue collar workers. The Pyramid was exactly that kind of bar until "Whispers" began, the drag show and other avant-garde performers.

@1:32 PM
"Why everyone is blaming the city for this? the bars are run by business men who have spotted an opportunity based on the area’s demographic."
Your logic could justify selling crack and heroin just as well as sports bars sell beer and shot. Capitalist need to be harnessed, otherwise we all suffer for or from the profits.

noble neolani said...

@1:47 PM

Thanks for bringing agism into the debate. Blame the old timers who according to you pay an average rent of $231 per month. Because those that pay market rate for 6-12 months and then move elsewhere should be catered to exclusively. If you were not alive in the 70's or 80's your ideas and opinions of that time and what we old timers did then is beyond naive. The saddest thing about your perspective is you have no idea how much you have lost as well when gentrification and the cities preference for alcohol venders replaced immigrant family owned businesses with trendy themed bars which last a year or two at best.

Anonymous said...

As a 15 + year resident I've seen the good and bad of what bars do for the neighborhood. I knew whatvthis neighborhood was when I moved here and it never bothered me because I didn't expect different. Losing the bar curfew is nice in a way... definitely quieter at night, but its also brought a lot of associated problems. Namely crime. Bars and late night locals bring a certain sense of security. While I don't really go out like I did when I first moved here I felt safe grabbing a late night bite or taking a walk alone because there were people and activity. Violent crime has exploded with the city's covid policies and jail/bail, mental health, and homelessness. I don't go out after 10 now nor do I feel safe doing so. Before there were bouncers and enough people on foot that I didn't worry about things. And that's my irritation. The bars and restaurants will have drunk idiots for sure. But again I welcome it because a lot of people I know make good money working at these place who are now below poverty line. Additionally bars let people go inside and not have house parties where the noise is totally unrelated and the beer pong wooing goes on all day and night.

Anonymous said...

@1:47pm: Your comment is full of stereotypes.

The "answer to aging in place" is that we're planning to do EXACTLY THAT: we're not going anywhere. So deal with it, b/c our life expectancy is another 20-30 years.

Secondly, those who have a pension WORKED FOR IT; no "young person" today is funding anyone's current pension (and I know that, b/c I work in the pension industry). Social Security is something all of us pay into (and since I'm still working, I am still paying into it, thanks).

Furthermore, I have OWNED my apartment for over 40 years. I bought it for full price back when you couldn't give this neighborhood away, so you can take your rent-stabilized assumptions and put them where the sun don't shine. Plenty of long-term residents here own their apartments - you just don't know it! And we're paying full real estate taxes, water & sewer taxes, etc.

As for your assertion about "long time residents- who engaged in similar or worse behavior in the 70s and 80s: you weren't here, so you actually have no idea what this neighborhood was like, do you?

I was young here in the 70's & 80's, but I *never* behaved like what I see going on now. First of all, I had self-respect and a job and student loans. Secondly, it would have been far too dangerous to be drunk, stupid and/or careless in those days, the way I see people acting now.

And back then, most people respected their neighbors and didn't make noise after-hours, b/c we ALL had to get up in the morning to go to WORK. You know, to pay our bills (unlike the entitled "bank-of-mom-and-dad" and/or trust-fund young people now).

What I see around me now are transient 20-somethings who pay absurd amounts in rent & claim "I can do anything I want, b/c I'm spending so much money on rent."

You can't imagine the neighborhood this WAS: a place with so much variety & LIFE. We had hand-laundries, laundromats, dry cleaners, jewelry stores, shoe repair shops, lots of inexpensive restaurants, some bars, a few movie theaters (no multiplexes), off-broadway live theaters, clothing stores, hardware stores, florists, record shops, locksmiths, pawn shops, art supply stores, medical labs, private tailor & seamstress shops, churches, and multiple mid-size factories. You have no idea what you missed!

Anonymous said...

Ageist comments abound. If you were here and one of the people who made this a neighborhood people want to live in now, "back in the day" it was a diversified community with affordable mom and pop owned shops and restaurants, no more bars than anywhere else downtown. The EVdid not cater to nightlife more than any other neighborhood. Now it is a Disney for those who who can afford to live in real estate speculator investment buildings owned by the likes of Kushner and Icon Reality. Once their year long lease runs out they either move back to where they came from or a "cooler" NYC neighborhood. Even Community Board 3 and the New York State Liquor Authority has acknowledged, and banned, certain blocks from getting anymore liquor licenses it is so over saturated here, but often a sleazy enough lawyer can get around that, particularly with the help of DeBlasio's restaurant industry shills.

Gojira said...

"The bigger issue is the fact that many long time residents- who engaged in similar or worse behavior in the 70s and 80s- are now approaching their 70s and 80s and cant deal with the nightlife" - 'scuse me, I am one of those long-time residents you are disparaging, and I can tell you, with the same certainty that I would tell you the sun rose in the east and set in the west, that you have NO FRIGGIN' CLUE what you are talking about. There was NEVER any kind of "similar or worse behavior" on display during those decades - we did not go out in huge wolf packs, roaming from bar to bar, getting publicly drunker and louder as the evening progressed, indulging in woo-ing sessions at top volume as we loped down the side streets. We did not have garden apartments and roof decks to party in or on until the wee hours, not caring who we were bothering with noisy games of beer pong and sound systems blasting music as we shrieked at each other from a distance of two feet away. We did not clog the nighttime streets and sidewalks in groups, smoking, yakking, blocking pedestrian and vehicular traffic cos we wanted to hang out and be nuisances. We did not dress up as Santa one day every December and start drinking en masse at 10 AM, ending the day with vomiting, yelling, urinating and fighting in the streets. We went to low-key, blue collar (not "destination", cos there was no such thing) bars, or clubs that for the most part were not jammed into residential buildings on residential blocks in residential neighborhoods, and even at places like The Ritz or Pyramid, which *were* in or near apartment buildings, you couldn't hear a damn thing on the streets during their concerts; they had no desire to aggravate or irritate their neighbors, whereas these new establishments don't give a rat's ass, since they know there will be no repercussions. We did not have the completely unwarranted sense of self-entitlement and self-absorption these selfish jerks display for no reason that I can see; we knew how to live respectfully with our neighbors and in our neighborhoods, rather than not giving a shit about anything except ourselves and our seeming desire to to do nothing except bray at each other, get hammered, and annoy everyone living within earshot of our overpriced frat apartments because We. Just. Don't. Care.

Sarah said...

The loss of foot traffic is a real problem. I, too, am uncomfortable going out past about 10 pm. I've spent most of my life in cities and nothing says "crime" to me like a deserted street at night. Just trying to get a walk in in between getting off work and its getting too late is a daily annoyance.

Either way, it seems rather ghoulish to celebrate the demise of any business that's not actively destructive to the neighborhood. Some of the restaurants/bars that have closed may deserve that designation, but surely not all. (Also, I'm no fan of the whoo-hooing, but I think it behooves everyone to be honest about their own youthful partying behavior.)

Bailey said...

It’s troubling to me that so many are rejoicing in the demise of others’ dreams. Come together! Long live the East Village in all of it’s chapters and may luck and fortune be with every small business owner!

Anonymous said...

If the closings keep the frat boy idiots and girls from Long Island exiting a limousine a block long out of the LES, I'm all for it.

Anonymous said...

I have lived in the neighborhood more than three decades now and sure you had drugs back in the day, but the East Village wasn't loud, and it wasn't packed with all the bars that have taken over in recent years. You didn't have groups of frat boys and sorority girls screaming on rooftops all night. I am glad to see these bars go. There are still plenty of great bars where you can listen to music and have a good time without disturbing everyone around you.

Beacon, NY said...

A few weeks ago I encountered a young lady inside the 14th St Target on Ave A sporting a "University of Buffalo" sweaty while holding a case of beer.

Limo riding frat brats might be coming out from the Hamptons to get a taste of drunk in the EV but it seems even Upstater College Kids are finding it to be their calling.

Anonymous said...

March 10 @5:17pm: "(Also, I'm no fan of the whoo-hooing, but I think it behooves everyone to be honest about their own youthful partying behavior.)"

So you're basically calling all of us who lived here decades ago liars, do I have that correct? You obviously didn't read the many comments from long-term residents, or else you don't believe them.

But it doesn't matter what you *choose* to believe, b/c in fact we older residents were NOT "woo-hooing" - that's simply not how people behaved back then. You probably weren't even alive at that time, so you have no basis on which to claim that older people are lying about their own "youthful partying behavior." People had more basic self-restraint AND self-respect then; you just can't imagine that!

Sarah said...

"People had more basic self-restraint AND self-respect then; you just can't imagine that!"

Sorry, man, every generation says that, and every generation is indulging in a little selective memory. I am past my own partying days, and I was never that wild myself, but I have to be honest about what my particular generation did, which is what every generation does that has the chance. Also, which is worse, the whoo-hoo girls or the "junkie in the alley with the baseball bat"? Almost no real alleys in the EV, of course, but you get the point.