Monday, July 16, 2018
The Zen Yai Pho Shop was not open this past weekend... This outpost of the Sunnyside-based Zen Yai Pho Shop & Coffee just opened in April at 518 E. Sixth St. between Avenue A and Avenue B.
In an email, the owners explained that Zen Yai is moving to an (undisclosed) new, larger location ... and they will use the Sixth Street space for a new concept.
That Zen Yai Pho Shop was successful enough to move to a bigger space is good news for this address. Last year the storefront saw the quick arrival and departure of both Baron's Dim Sum and Tasty Garden.
Previously on EV Grieve:
Zen Yai Pho Shop coming to 6th Street
Monday, February 26, 2018
Out East has been closed the past two months here on Sixth Street between Avenue A and Avenue B.
There hasn't been any sign of activity at the restaurant — except for the black trash bags that someone covered the windows with last week...
There was never any announcement about a closure at the seafood-centric restaurant that aspired to bring a little Montauk to Sixth Street. The Out East website has "expired" while Open Table notes the place has permanently closed.
One EVG reader who dined here a few times noted that after a strong debut last April, Out East quickly fell apart, with disorganized service and marginal food and portion size for the price.
The operators of the two-level, 124-seat restaurant — which underwent an extensive gut renovation to make it Out East — have been involved with hotspots such as Beauty & Essex and Stanton Social. Perhaps they will try something different in this space.
Tuesday, January 16, 2018
Multiple readers have shared the news that The Joint closed earlier this month on Third Avenue between 12th Street and 13th Street. (The first report that I heard was on Jan. 5.)
There's now a for rent sign on the space. The cheesesteak specialists started as 99 Miles to Philly in February 2005. They rebranded as The Joint this past July. Here's what 99 Miles partner Neil Barsky told me at that time:
"After 12 years and outlasting every other cheeseteak joint that did not have a bar attached to it, we could no longer survive the costs of doing business in NYC with only having basically one product," he said via email. "We had a choice — close or take advantage of the vacancies left by the closing of Blue 9 and other restaurants in the area. We felt by rebranding with an expanded new menu, which will ... feature Pat LaFrieda's burgers, specialty hot dogs and monthly specialty sandwiches, we could continue to survive and keep good people employed."
I did not hear back about this closure.
The Joint's neighbor, Blue 9 Burger, closed earlier in 2017. That space remains on the rental market...
Thursday, January 11, 2018
[Photo yesterday by Steven]
Word is spreading that the Greek restaurant at 2 St. Mark's Place at Third Avenue/Cooper Square has called it a day.
One of the workers in a nearby kiosk told Steven that Ayios closed at the end of 2017. The gate has been down during advertised business hours of late. There's nothing mentioning a closure on their website. There's no answer on the phone... while Yelp is reporting that they have closed...
The restaurant opened on Aug. 31, 2016 at No. 2, whose previous tenant was the St. Mark's Ale House. They closed in July 2016 after 21 years in business.
H/T EVG reader Paul!
Friday, January 5, 2018
Yerba Buena, the Latin restaurant with a cocktail bar at 23 Avenue A near Second Street, closed after service this past Saturday... EVG reader Gacjon shares these photos... a note on the door for patrons states that the restaurant will reopen over on 205 Thompson St. in the summer...
Yerba Buena opened here in 2008. New York magazine's Robin Raisfeld named it one of the best new restaurants to open that year.
As Eater reports, a bartender who works at Yerba's sister restaurant, Toloache, sued chef-owner Julian Medina for sexual harassment last summer.
Thursday, January 4, 2018
The TGI Friday's at 34 Union Square East at 16th Street shut down at the end of the year... EVG regular Daniel shared these photos ...
This closure was a long time coming. The Commercial Observer reported in August 2014 that this location, which was just breaking even, would soon close.
Dennis Riese, the chairman of the board and CEO of The Riese Organization, reportedly bought this building for $15.3 million at the end of 2009. The TGI Friday's opened in June 2010.
Now it looks as if the whole building is for sale as a development site... curious to see what, if any, air rights might be available...
Didn't spot a listing for the property just yet.
Meanwhile, patrons yearning for TGI's Sesame Jack™ Chicken Strips or Jack Daniel's® Chicken Sandwich washed down with a Red Bull Passion Slush can find that fare at the six other remaining locations in the city.
Wednesday, December 6, 2017
[Photo via @jcastro_nyc]
After nearly a year in business, Hot Pot Central has closed on the southeast corner of Second Avenue and 12th Street. They closed after service on Sunday night. No word on why they shut down.
This was the third attempt by the owners here since March 2015 ... following DumplingGuo and, previously, Dumpling Go.
Shima had a good run on the corner here until January 2014. After Shima, the asking rent for the prime corner location had been $25,400 per month.
Monday, November 6, 2017
Multiple readers have pointed out that Wall 88 has not been open lately, including this past weekend here on Sixth Street and Second Avenue.
The Wall 88 phone kicks into a full voicemail box. There isn't any mention of a closure on its website and social media properties. (Yelp states Wall 88 is permanently closed.)
However, despite the fact that the gates have been down for a week, the Wall 88 Facebook page is still robo-posting stock photos and sentiments ...
The restaurant serving rather pedestrian pub fare opened back in March. There was a quick turnaround here after Lions BeerStore closed.
Lions BeerStore — part retail shop, part restaurant — opened in November 2015. An EVG reader said that the Lions BeerStore owners are partners in the new venture, though someone else is/was involved in the day-to-day operations.
H/T Ryan John Lee
Thursday, August 24, 2017
[Image via Facebook]
Pata Negra, the 25-seat Spanish tapas and wine bar on 12th Street just west of First Avenue, has closed for business as of July 31.
Chef-owner Rafael Mateo told me this in an email yesterday: "10-year lease expired. Cost of doing business and the changing East Village contributed to decision not to renew."
In 2010, Mateo wrote a compelling post (H/T Eater) on his blog about the trials and tribulations of running a restaurant in NYC. He addressed the hell that is the NYC Department of Health.
The Department of Health has been on a witch hunt. I understand the need for transparency with its newly implemented grading system, and further agree with the best conditions for public safety. But make no mistake about it, the DOH agenda is about making money for the city, period. Every day at 66 John Street, hundreds of owners are crammed into a stuffy room with a 10:00 am appointment summons to testify against all of the violations heaped upon their respective businesses during the latest visit from a DOH inspector. The owners are iced all morning; on my latest appointment I arrived before 10 am and was seen at 3:30 pm, all for an opportunity to be heard by a “judge”, whose qualifications are suspect. The owners are called like cattle into a room with the “judge”. A tape recorder is turned on, the owner speaks, and then the “judge” sends the owner back into the lion’s den awaiting some 45 minutes for a verdict. The verdict is an average of $2000. in fines. There are hundreds of owners there per day. Do the math. $$$$
That’s the cost of doing business. This has become my favorite go to expression for unforeseeable, necessary expenses and costs that a business commands. The DOH paid me a visit in February. Fine, $2000. I fixed the violations. Then they paid me a visit in October and I received 17 points which amounts to a “B” rating (13 or less for an “A”). The Inspector said he was sending me another inspector in a couple of weeks. He stated that I had a potential for an “A” if I fixed certain violations. Four weeks later another inspector came in and fined me 21 points for completely different violations. She awarded me a “B” with a grade pending, meaning that another inspector will be paying me a visit in the next month as well.
In a follow-up note today, Mateo said that in 2017, the DOH is better at working with business owners rather than just using the system to generate income through excessive fines.
"On more than one occasion, inspectors were helpful to me in finding solutions to problems and were collaborative in education. As a result the business received fewer violations and more A ratings. The desired effect of my blog post, and the ensuing press made some impact (I believe) ... While it is still far from perfect, it has improved drastically since Mayor de Blasio has taken office."
He offered more insights about the East Village business environment in this blog post from February. It offers more insight into why it wasn't possible to stay in business.
Monday, August 14, 2017
As announced, DBGB shut down after service on Friday following eight years in the Avalon Bowery complex between First Street and East Houston Street.
"In this location, it’s busy on weekends but erratic in the early part of the week," chef-owner Daniel Boulud told The New York Times. "I hope to find a more appropriate space for it in New York."
On Saturday morning, workers (above) were prepping to clean out the space on the Bowery ... and by the end of the day on Saturday...
... and a last look at the former sidewalk cafe (for now...in case Boulud decides to do something else with the space)...
For now, three of the five retails spaces in this Avalon Bowery section are vacant as DBGB joins L'Apico and Tatyana Boutique as former tenants.
Previously on EV Grieve:
How DBGB is 'pissing on the grave' of punk rock
Why we're writing about Duke's Bohemian Grove Bar in Buffalo
Breaking: DBGB making sidewalk cafe look less barren
Tasty Tasty Chinese Take Out (previously Tasty King) has closed for good at 534 E. 14th St. between Avenue A and Avenue B.
The gate has been down since the third week of July. There was some thought that this might just be a temporary closure. (As we understand it, the quick-serve Chinese restaurant changed ownership several months ago, with one family member buying out another.)
Late last week, a building resident here saw a worker cleaning out the space. The worker said that they decided to close the restaurant, that it wasn't a landlord/rent issue.
Perhaps it was a business issue? The restaurant (as well as the residents in the building) have endured noisy construction the past three years (here and here, for example) with the demolition and subsequent development of Extell's 7-floor retail-residential complex next door...
H/T Michael Paul!
Thursday, August 3, 2017
[Photo from April]
After just a few months in business, Baron's Dim Sum has closed at 518 Sixth St. here between Avenue A and Avenue B. Paper arrived on the front windows a few weeks back... and a new name and concept has arrived in the form of Tasty Garden...
..which is also going to offer a variety of dumplings as well as spicy wontons, per the signage. (Not sure if Baron's just switched up names or if new operators took over. The phone numbers are different.)
No. 518 has been home to a number of quickly-closing businesses in recent years ...including a psychic... and an organic dry cleaner/cafe.
Monday, July 31, 2017
SobaKoh, a soba restaurant on Fifth Street between First Avenue and Second Avenue, has closed.
A sign appeared on the gate this past weekend noting the closure...
[Photo by EVG reader Natalie Walshe]
Said one neighbor: "This is a real heartbreaker. The restaurant was so good. The owner made his noodles in the window."
We have not heard an official reason for the closure of SobaKoh, which opened in early 2005. On Facebook, the restaurant noted that the owner "will be returning to Japan after his retirement."
The (unofficial) word on the block is that it didn't have to do with a lack of business or a rent increase, but rather an unscrupulous contractor who bilked Hiromi Takahashi, the restaurant’s chef and owner, over repair work. A neighbor said that he decided to throw in the towel rather than incur more expenses.
Friday, July 14, 2017
Chao Chao, the 6-month-old contemporary Vietnamese restaurant, closed without any notice to patrons in late May. Chao Chao evolved from Soothsayer, which opened in January 2016. Soothsayer, from the same operators, also closed without any notice to patrons at the end of September 2016. Brown paper covered the front windows for several months before the space re-emerged as Chao Chao last November.
171 Avenue A was also the onetime home of Rat Cage Records and 171A, the illegal club-turned-rehearsal studio that produced records by Bad Brains and the "Polly Wog Stew" EP by the Beastie Boys.
The listing for the space is not yet online.
H/T EVG reader dwg!
Friday, June 30, 2017
An EVG reader shares this photo, noting that Wasan East Village has closed on 4th Street between First Avenue and Second Avenue. Per the reader: "Restaurant's dark and the phone is out. Yelp and Open Table say permanently closed. Ugh."
The Japanese restaurant opened here in 2010. Wasan opened an outpost on Bergen Street at Fifth Avenue in Park Slope two years ago.
Tuesday, June 20, 2017
After today, San Loco will no longer have a presence in the East Village.
The quick-serve restaurant took to Instagram yesterday to announce that they are closing on Second Avenue between Seventh Street and St. Mark's Place.
We are heartbroken to announce that we are closing our 2nd Ave location due to a rent increase that is unsustainable. Tomorrow, June 20th will be our last day of business. Our other #sanloco locations will remain open so please come visit us. Thank you 2nd avenue for 30+ years, we will surely miss you. 💔#supportsmallbusiness. #theskyiscrying #vivasanloco
A post shared by SAN LOCO (@sanloconyc) on
We are heartbroken to announce that we are closing our 2nd Ave location due to a rent increase that is unsustainable. Tomorrow, June 20th will be our last day of business. Our other #sanloco locations will remain open so please come visit us. Thank you 2nd avenue for 30+ years, we will surely miss you.
Owner Jill Hing, whose brothers opened this location in 1986, talked to Jeremiah Moss last November about their struggles to stay in business.
There are many factors that contribute to our struggle to survive — and the noose definitely keeps tightening. Our customer base has been mostly squeezed out of this neighborhood as a consequence of hyper-gentrification. Rent is a constant source of stress. In our case, as with many long-standing businesses, we are at the mercy of the landlord and live in fear of our next rent renewal.
They can raise your rent exponentially to just force you out, or they can charge you above market because they know moving is not a viable option. For example, one of our location's lease is up in the spring, we have been tenants there for 20 years, but still they are asking about 15-20% above the comps around us because they know moving is expensive, disruptive, and can cost us our liquor license (although San Loco obtained the liquor license it stays with the address). And regardless of our good standing with the community board, we could be denied a new license, or most likely, be given one with limitations. There are moratoriums on most blocks now because of the over saturation of restaurants/bars in the neighborhood.
Rent aside, there's also more competition, with Otto's Tacos and Taqueria Diana opening nearby in recent years.
The Avenue A San Loco closed in 2014 after 15 years in business.
Tuesday, June 13, 2017
[Photo Friday by Vinny & O]
The gates have been down at Mancora, the Peruvian restaurant on First Avenue at Sixth Street, for the past 10 days or so. Several EVG readers noted that workers have gutted the interior, leaving some speculation of a temporary closure for renovations.
There isn't any note to patrons about the closure, temporary or otherwise. The phone kicks into an automated message about the customer not haven't set up a voicemail box.
The Mancora space was expected to yield to a "fast casual" concept called Ummburger. No update on that venture at the moment.
A sample menu for Ummburger posted on the CB3 website this spring showed a variety of burgers, including a vegetarian option ... and a fried chicken sandwich called the Southern Ummfort.
Mancora first opened in March 2003.
Previously on EV Grieve:
Ummburger vying for the Mancora space on 1st Avenue
Tuesday, May 30, 2017
Moustache, the reliable Middle-Eastern restaurant with a backyard garden, has closed on 10th Street. Back on Friday, workers were gutting the space mid block here between First Avenue and Second Avenue.
No word on why they closed. (The Moustache location remains open in the West Village.)
In any event, the space won't be empty for long. An applicant going by Small Plates Inc. is on the June CB3-SLA docket for a beer-wine license for the address. The applicant's questionnaire isn't online just yet.
Monday, May 22, 2017
The for rent signs are up at the space that previously housed the bar-restaurant Joe and Misses Doe at 45 E. First St. between First Avenue and Second Avenue...
Florence Fabricant first noted this closure on May 2 in the Times.
Husband-and-wife owners Joe and Jill Dobias left this message on the restaurant's website:
"We are excited to announce that we will be joining the Jean-Georges Vongerichten & Phil Suarez Restaurant Group as part of their management team, Joe as the Executive Chef and I, as the Operations Manager and will operate their restaurant Le Dock on Fire Island for the Summer 2017 season. We will miss our regulars in the East Village but we look forward to an exciting new time in our careers. Hope to see everyone at the beach!"
JoeDoe opened in 2008, changing up in 2013 to become Joe & Misses Doe. They also ran the the excellent quick-serve JoeDough sandwich shop at 135 First Ave. for several years.
Monday, May 8, 2017
The gate has been down in recent weeks at Zabb City, the reliable and reasonably priced Thai restaurant on 13th Street between Second Avenue and Third Avenue.
There's a note on the door about management being on holiday, with normal business hours resuming on April 28. Unfortunately, that hasn't been the case. The restaurant appears to be closed. The Zabb City phone number has been disconnected, and the website displays a 404 Not Found Error.