Showing posts with label closings 2019. Show all posts
Showing posts with label closings 2019. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Avenue C Restaurant has apparently closed on Avenue C

[Photo from Friday]

Several readers have noted that Avenue C Restaurant has been dark of late... including through this past weekend.

There isn't any word of a closure — temporary or otherwise — on the restaurant's website or social media properties. Calls to the restaurant go unanswered (the voicemail system has not been set up, per a message). Meanwhile, Open Table is reporting that this is a permanent closure...

The restaurant just debuted last July at 102 Avenue C between Sixth Street and Seventh Street. One EVG regular who lived nearby said that the staff was friendly, but the place didn't do much to distinguish itself for return visits. (The website copy was stunningly generic: "Welcome to Avenue C Restaurant, the new trendiest American restaurant on the Lower East Side! From it’s industrial décor, to chic vibe we deliver the location to enjoy an amazing experience.")

Someone put a lot of money into the space, giving it a whole new look from its nine years as Edi & the Wolf, which resembled some kind of cozy Austrian garage. Executive chefs Eduard "Edi" Frauneder and Wolfgang "the Wolf" Ban decided to close up last April due to "increasing operating costs," Eater reported.

Thursday, January 2, 2020

Leslie Feinberg on why Prohibition Bakery closed after 8 years on the Lower East Side

Text and photos by Stacie Joy

Prohibition Bakery, best-known for its variety of boozy mini cupcakes and desserts, shut down its operations on Christmas Day.

Leslie Feinberg, owner of the the bakery at 188 Suffolk St. just south of Houston Street, says she wrestled with the decision to close for about six months before deciding it was finally time.

The eight-year-old bakery business was most recently housed in the basement of Subject bar, which Feinberg co-owns. Feinberg talked with me about the history of the bakery, the challenges facing a small-business owner in NYC and her plans for the future.

Can you speak a bit about the history of Prohibition Bakery?

Prohibition Bakery was born during the recession, out of a combination of boredom, career frustration and wine. My former partner (a chef) and I met on a birthright trip. After realizing that we shared similarly wonky schedules — I was bartending and book editing at the time — we started spending a lot of time together, working through our 20-something angst, and exploring the growing dessert scene in New York.

We really were in the right place at the right time, as the city was just at the peak of the bell curve of the cupcake craze, and no one had really explored the idea of boozy baking beyond bourbon pecan pies and rum cakes.

We started out at the Hester Street Fair, and then quickly moved to a shop on Clinton Street, where the bakery resided for five years. The bakery’s lease ran out around the same time that my friend Matt Rush, the original owner of Subject, passed away from cancer.

His mom approached my partner in the bar, Brian Grummert, and I about buying the place. She really wanted Subject to go to someone who would respect Matt’s vision and legacy, which has been very important to us.

By this point I was running the bakery alone, and felt like it was time for a change. So rather than re-up my lease on Clinton Street, I decided to move everything over to the basement kitchen of Subject, and focus on catering and delivery.

It was, frankly, chaotic as hell. For the first few months, the bakery was still on Clinton Street, so I spent my days literally running back and forth between the two. But when all was said and done, it worked.

Why did you decide to close the business?

The decision to close the business wasn’t an easy one, but it was the right one. By most measures, we were wildly successful: eight years thriving in the difficult culinary climate of NYC, a cookbook, and awards and recognition from prestigious organizations.

Ultimately it had become an enormous drain of time and energy, and frankly had stopped bringing me any real happiness. I started the business because I wanted to do weird, creative stuff, bring people joy, and expand my culinary skills, but by the end it felt like the fun and weird stuff was falling on deaf ears, and that the dessert scene was moving in a direction that I wasn’t interested in.

I never wanted to be a trend-watcher, but that was what I felt was starting to happen, and that’s when I began considering closing our doors.

There was the great cupcake frenzy a few years back. Was there any backlash to that cupcake-crazed time?

I wouldn’t say there was a backlash from the cupcake craze; if anything, I credit finding a unique twist on a trendy product with our ability to grow and find success so quickly — we went from conception to storefront in a year. There was definitely some condescension from people in the food world, “Oh, cupcakes, how...cute,” but that was kind of to be expected, and never really bothered me.

What are some of the challenges of running a small business in NYC?

Running a business in NYC is, honestly, almost nothing but challenges. That can be extremely fun and exciting, but also be frustrating. Between all the regulations and licensing, which are far from transparent and seem almost designed to screw you up, rising rents, a complete lack of protections for small-business owners, and the insane level of competition, it can be exhausting.

Combine that with being in one of the culinary centers of the world, though there are many who would argue that title is fading, and you can really start to feel like an ant under a magnifying glass.

What was your favorite part of running the bakery?

One of my favorite parts of running the bakery was falling in love with the East Village and Lower East Side, and getting to really feel like a part of it. One of my former bakers, whom I still consider a friend, used to call me the People’s Monarch of the LES. I don’t think I’ve remotely earned the title, but am honored by it, nonetheless.

What are your plans now and what’s next for you?

Now my plan is to focus on the bar, and trying to spend more time enjoying my life and the people in it. I plan to keep baking professionally, but more custom and bespoke projects, which are my favorite, and will allow me more time to have a life. I’m getting married in May, so I guess I should probably start planning that!

Monday, December 30, 2019

Tree Bistro closes after tomorrow

[EVG file photo]

Tree Bistro, the quaint French restaurant at 190 First Ave. between 11th Street and 12th Street, closes after service tomorrow (Dec. 31).

Ownership shared the news via an email to customers:

It’s with lots of love and sadness that we must let our extended Tree Bistro family know that the night of Dec. 31 will be our last day of business.

We hope some of you will be able to stop in for a goodbye, and we thank you all for 12 magical years. tree has weathered hurricanes, snowstorms, and the vagaries of being one of the few remaining small independent restaurants in NYC, and we have loved every minute of it in our beloved east village neighborhood.

We made it to No. 1 on TripAdvisor a few times, but more important, we made so many friends — first dates to weddings to baby showers — and in at least one case all t(h)ree! So many magical times and much laughter at 190 first avenue. But for those who remember it from our menu, it is time for the story of tree to come to an end, for now.

Not mentioned in the farewell: The October 2018 fire next door that forced Tree Bistro out of business for nearly eight months. The six-alarm fire that started in Uogashi at 188 First Ave. wiped out Tree Bistro's garden dining area ... and caused other damage inside the 12-year-old restaurant.

Tree Bistro reopened without the back space in June ... closing briefly again for more work in late July.

H/T EVG reader Steve!

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Last weekend for the Shape of Lies on 7th Street

The Shape of Lies, the shop featuring jewelry designed by local artists as well as antique and museum-replica pieces, is closing after the business day on Monday here at 127 E. Seventh St. just west of Avenue A.

However, as EVG correspondent Steven reports, the space will reopen in 6-8 months as a window gallery featuring the work of shop owners Peggy Yunque and Ladd Kessler ...

The Shape of Lies, which arrived in 1979, will be open from noon to 8 p.m. today through Monday.

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

The Pure Green-Wattle Cafe combo storefront shutters on 2nd Avenue

[Photos by Steven]

Last Wednesday, we noted that the Pure Green space was for rent at 152 Second Ave. between Ninth Street and 10th Street, with landlord Icon Realty hanging a large for-rent sign — complete with arrow — above the storefront.

Over the weekend, Pure Green, along with Wattle Cafe and the I.V. Doc, the other two businesses that shared the space, went dark.

Pure Green, which has multiple NYC locations, opened here in March 2017.

According to the Icon website, the space has an asking rent of $18,000 per month.

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Fat Cat Kitchen closes on 14th Street

[EVG photo from September 2018]

Fat Cat Kitchen, a quick-serve cafe serving quality sandwiches, salads and baked goods at 223 E. 14th St., shut down yesterday after more than 2.5 years in business.

In an Instagram post, married chefs C.J. and Björn Holm put the blame on the landlord...

In September 2018, the DOH shut down Fat Cat here between Second Avenue and Third Avenue following an inspection. The issue stemmed from a broken pipe in the basement that the owners said they didn't have access to...

[EVG photo from September 2018]

According to public records, 223 E. 14 ST. LLC is the landlord, having purchased the building in 2009. The LLC shares an address with the Metropolitan Property Group.

Earlier this year, Fat Cat ran afoul of the Department of Health again — this time for selling food with CBD, the legal compound derived from cannabis. During a routine visit on Feb. 1, a DOH official gathered up a reported $1,000 worth of CBD edibles, putting them in a zip-lock bag and marking them as "embargoed."

The DOH had a murky policy that their own personnel apparently couldn't even explain.

As Eater reported at the time:

DOH visited at least two other times in the recent past and did not mention the CBD products, even though Fat Cat Kitchen advertises the treats with a sign outside the restaurant...

“I mean, this is crazy,” [C.J.] Holm says, alleging that at least two city staffers did not know what CBD was when she called for more information. “They couldn’t even intelligently explain to me exactly what the problem was when I spoke to them on the phone.”

Fat Cat Kitchen opened in May 2017. It was a nice spot with a friendly staff and owners who liked being part of the neighborhood. It's the kind of place that we need more of around here...

Monday, December 16, 2019

The Associated has closed on 14th Street

[Photos by Steven]

The Associated Supermarket on 14th Street in Stuy Town is now closed. According to several readers, the grocery shut down after the business day this past Thursday here between Avenue A and First Avenue.

EVG correspondent Steven stopped by on Friday morning and found the store shuttered ... there were no signs to note a closure... people figured it out on their own, though...

News of this closure first surfaced in September. The final day was expected to be somewhere at the end of November or early December, per Town & Village.

The closing date continued to change over the course of the past week. Employees told customers different dates, including Dec. 9 and Dec. 10.

On Saturday morning, workers were spotted removing items from the market...

Longtime store manager Norman Quintanilla told this to T&V in September:

“A lot of people are crying and upset about it,” he said. “It especially affects a lot of elderly customers that we help with phone orders. They don’t know where else to go.”

Quintanilla said that he wasn’t involved in discussions with Associated’s ownership and Blackstone regarding why the store is closing but he said that business has been steadily decreasing every year.

Joseph Falzon, the store’s owner, previously told Crain's that a confluence of factors had cut business nearly in half. For starters, construction on 14th Street for the L train obscured the supermarket with a 12-foot fence these past two years.

[Obscured view of the former Associated from Saturday]

If the Associated remained open, then they'd have faced competition from the Trader Joe' opening soon across 14th Street. The TJ signage arrived last week...

In an email in September, Stuyvesant Town General Manager Rick Hayduk told residents that they are "working on finding a new tenant with full understanding that a local grocery store is important to the community; but this will take some time."

Previously on EV Grieve:
The Associated on 14th Street in Stuy Town is said to close by year's end

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Maharlika closes after 8 years of serving Filipino cuisine on 1st Avenue

EVG reader Trevor J. shares the news that Maharlika has shut down on First Avenue between Sixth Street and Seventh Street.

The note on the door that he discovered thanks customers for their patronage ... followed by: "Unfortunately, we have made the decision to close Maharlika's doors for service as of Dec. 8, 2019."

However, despite the Dec. 8 date, the restaurant was open for an encore presentation last night...

Maharlika's creative team, which includes founder Nicole Ponseca and executive chef Miguel Trinidad, will continue on with Jeepney, their more casual counterpart a few blocks to the north on First Avenue.

Maharlika opened in August 2011, in space that had been several restaurants previously, including Absinthe, Lautrec Bistro and Lingua.

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

[Updated] The Associated on 14th Street in Stuy Town closes on Monday

[Photos yesterday by Steven]

Employees at the Associated on 14th Street in Stuy Town are telling patrons that this Monday (Dec. 9) is the last day. [Updated: Employees are now saying Wednesday, Dec. 10. Updated 2: The store is closed as of Friday (Dec. 13).]

As one reader told us: "It is starting to look that way, though there is no sign of marked-down merchandise."

There weren't any store closing signs posted as of yesterday here between Avenue A and First Avenue ... though there is a notice that sale items/coupons will be honored at the Associated on Avenue C at Eighth Street...

News of this closure first surfaced in September. The final day was expected to be somewhere at the end of November or early December, per Town & Village.

Longtime store manager Norman Quintanilla told this to T&V in September:

“A lot of people are crying and upset about it,” he said. “It especially affects a lot of elderly customers that we help with phone orders. They don’t know where else to go.”

Quintanilla said that he wasn’t involved in discussions with Associated’s ownership and Blackstone regarding why the store is closing but he said that business has been steadily decreasing every year.

Joseph Falzon, the store’s owner, previously told Crain's that a confluence of factors had cut business nearly in half. For starters, construction on 14th Street for the L train obscured the supermarket with a 12-foot fence these past two years.

There's also increased competition, including the Target on 14th and A that opened in July 2018 with a large food-and-beverage selection. In addition, the Trader Joe's is expected to open early next year right across 14th Street. (Per the comments in previous posts on this closure, a good number of residents don't find the Target or Trader Joe's to be an adequate replacement for an old-fashioned supermarket.)

In an email in September, Stuyvesant Town General Manager Rick Hayduk told residents that they are "working on finding a new tenant with full understanding that a local grocery store is important to the community; but this will take some time."

Previously on EV Grieve:
The Associated on 14th Street in Stuy Town is said to close by year's end

United Copy & Print has apparently closed

United Copy & Print at 241 E. 10th St. just west of First Avenue recently closed ... the interior has been cleared out, as this photo via Steven shows...

United Copy & Print arrived in this space, a former nail salon, in early 2012... they moved down the block here after previously doing business as The American Copy Center.

Monday, December 2, 2019

Huminska closes on 9th Street after 27 years in business

In recent months people have asked about the status of Huminksa, the women's boutique at 315 E. Ninth St. between First Avenue and Second Avenue.

Owner-designer Janice Huminska has addressed the situation in a note posted to her website last week. Her shop, which first opened in 1992, is now permanently closed. She writes, in part:

A tough retail environment could not and would not thwart my addiction to fabric and making dresses for all of you! Rather this crazy retail environment has been fueling me, as other obstacles over the last 3 decades have done, to overcome!

I am not at liberty to say exactly what happened, other than that a tsunami hit my longstanding tiny little biz & thru no fault of my own my labor of love was decimated, along with my livelihood ...

You can read her full note below...

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

beQu Juice is closing on 9th Street

[Photo by Steven]

You may have noticed the for rent sign above beQu Juice (or Bqjuice) at 350 E. Ninth St. just west of First Avenue.

Workers confirmed that the shop was expected to close after service tomorrow (Nov. 27). Management says that they hope to find another space elsewhere in the neighborhood.

The juice shop opened in January 2014 at the former home of the 9th Street Bakery, which closed in 2012 following an unsuitable rent increase.

Monday, November 25, 2019

The 1st Avenue and 2nd Avenue locations of the Bean closed for good yesterday

[1st Avenue location photo by Steven]

Regulars were shocked to learn that the seemingly always-busy Bean locations on First Avenue and Ninth Street and Second Avenue and Third Street shut down after service yesterday.

A tipster told us about Bean employees thanking regulars for their patronage. (Another tipster said that the store employees received little warning about the closure.)

"It is sad but true that we are closing those stores. It is a very hard day for us," owner Ike Escava confirmed via email. "Due to rising costs the decision to close was unfortunately the only one we could make."

Moving forward, the coffee shop will maintain the location on Third Avenue at Ninth Street and the incoming spot on Broadway and Ninth Street. (The Bean on Broadway and 12th Street closed earlier this month ahead of the move to the larger space on Broadway.)

"We hope to continue to see our loyal customers at those locations and to continue serving the East Village for a very long time," he said.

The Bean has had a presence in the East Village since 2003.

The outpost on Second Avenue and Third Street debuted in December 2011.

[Photo from 2011]

The First Avenue and Ninth Street shop opened in June 2012.

Today is the last day for Harry & Ida's on Avenue A

The Harry & Ida's Meat and Supply Co. wraps up four-and-a-half years of business today at 189 Avenue A at 12th Street. (Hours: 11 a.m. to ?)

Siblings Julie and Will Horowitz, who also operate Ducks Eatery on 12th Street between First Avenue and Second Avenue, announced the closure in an Instagram post earlier this month.

The general store was named for their great-grandparents Harry and Ida Zinn, Hungarian immigrants who had a store in Harlem. This shop arrived on Avenue A in June 2015, and immediately drew raves for their pastrami ...

The pastrami was one reason mentioned for the closing.

Per Eater:

But that pastrami presents a conundrum for Horowitz, an environmentalist committed to sustainability. “We love selling pastrami because it fucking tastes delicious, and that’s where we’ve had all our accolades,” says Horowitz. But selling it in the quantities that might make for a sustainable business won’t make for a sustainable planet, he says. “We still wanna do it, we just don’t wanna make a business out of it.”


Pastrami under the Harry & Ida’s moniker will still appear as a special at Ducks, but now the chef will devote more attention to non-meat items he’s developed, like smoked carrots and a viral smoked watermelon that looks like a giant ham. “I think that’s the direction for us: Keep a small restaurant and develop more sustainable [foods].”

There were also financial considerations. In August 2018, they shuttered their offshoot Harry & Ida’s Luncheonette in the Financial District after 10 months in business.

And as I reported in October 2017, workers removed the sidewalk bridge and scaffolding from the Avenue A side of the Steiner East Village condoplex between 11th Street and 12th Street.

For 19 months, the entrance to Harry & Ida's was obscured by all this construction. In total at the time, 19 of their first 29 months in business had been under the doom and gloom of that sidewalk bridge.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Acclaimed pastrami purveyors Harry & Ida's will close this month on Avenue A

Punto Rojo looks done for on 1st Avenue

Last month we noted that a homemade restaurant for sale sign was hanging in the front window at Punto Rojo, the reasonably priced bakery-restaurant that serves traditional Colombian food at 221 First Ave. between 13th Street and 14th Street.

Punto Rojo has apparently closed for good. As you can see in the top photo, the signage was recently removed, and the space looks as if it was cleared out.

These actions also coincided with a closure at the hands of the Department of Health on Nov. 12 ...

Inspectors found 86 violations points, including "Food Protection Certificate not held by supervisor of food operations," per public records.

Punto Rojo took over the space from Señor Pollo, which specialized in Peruvian-style rotisserie chicken, in the spring of 2018.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

The Subway (sandwich shop) closes on Avenue B

The owner of the Subway franchise on Avenue B between 13th Street and 14th Street has decided to close. A small store-for-rent sign is now in the front window. (Thanks to Gojira for the photo!)

This outpost opened in the summer of 2011.

This also marks the eighth Subway sandwich shop to close in the immediate area in the past six-plus years, joining the one on the BoweryEast 14th StreetFirst AvenueSecond AvenueThird Avenue ... Fourth Avenue ... and First Avenue between Sixth and Seventh.

The location at 250 E. Houston St. is all that remains in the East Village... though there are several nearby, like the one in the Avalon Chrystie Place.

Monday, November 18, 2019

Former Neapolitan Express space for rent on 2nd Avenue; or buy the whole the whole building

Officially closing the book on Neapolitan Express.

The pizzeria on Second Avenue between First Street and Second Street went dark back in the early summer... however, it looked as if the food-truck portion of the business was still using the space for something.

Now, though, a for rent sign arrived on the storefront last week.

Neapolitan Express opened here in February 2018. The company started its business life as a food truck. Per the Neapolitan website: "Originally launched in 2013 as the world’s first Eco Friendly Food Truck, Neapolitan Express was officially introduced by lead investors, energy innovators and business tycoons T. Boone Pickens of Clean Energy Fuels and Mayor Michael Bloomberg of Bloomberg L.P."

The food trucks are still in operation around the city ... as are two locations — one in Midtown and one in the Financial District.

Aside from the retail space being for rent, the building recently arrived on the sales market. The four-story, four-unit 29 Second Ave. has an ask of $8.5 million. Per the listing: "The building is by far the most flawlessly renovated walk-up building in the East Village."

Previously on EV Grieve:
Neapolitan Express comes to a halt for now on 2nd Avenue

Looking at the new-look 29 Second Ave.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Very Thai has not been open lately on Avenue B

Very Thai looks to be done for at 186 Avenue B between 11th Street and 12th Street...

The first tip came in about a possible closure in late October (H/T David!). The space had shown up in real-estate listings dating to April 2018 ("motivated owner, low key money"). The storefront no longer appears to be for rent as of last week, suggesting that a new tenant has been secured.

The Very Thai website doesn't mention a closure, though their phone is out of service. Oddly enough, Yelp notes a temporary closure — with an October 2020 reopening...

Very Thai arrived in early 2017, taking over space from the 10-year-old Barbone, the Italian restaurant that was Cromanated.

Meanwhile, while we're on this block, another tipster notes that Guac on the east side of Avenue B has not been open. The photo below is from Saturday night.

No word via the Guac folks about a temporary or permanent closure. The Mexican restaurant, run by Vincent Sgarlato, who owns and operates Eleven B and 11B Express across Avenue B, opened in the fall of 2016.

Monday, November 11, 2019

Odd Eye closing 5th Street shop; going online

After nearly three years at 524 E. Fifth St. between Avenue A and Avenue B, Odd Eye NYC is closing up shop.

The owners of the design store are moving their business online...

In an upbeat closing notice on Instagram, the owners note:

What a ride but guess what?
It’s time to adapt. We’re going 100% digital! 🤳🏼

Everything is on sale! Come make an offer/score a deal!

Been a lot of fun and a lot of hard work! Excited to see what ODDEYE has in store for you in the future but until then come buy some shit! 🤗

And thx for the awesome opportunity and the best landlord anyone could ask for! C U on the internet!

Odd Eye will be open through this month. You can find their website here.