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Entries in Closed for Business (153)


Closed for Business: Impeccable Attire, 172 Fifth Avenue

It only opened last November, but Impeccable Attire, the high-end t-shirt/ "street culture"-oriented apparel shop on Fifth between Degraw and Sackett, has already closed.

When it first opened, owner Wayne Fortune, a British transplant, told me that the merchandise, focused on the flagship $40 "Brooklyn Bloke" black and white t-shirt, would be "adult-oriented and classy, something you can wear in the evening." He kept his shop sparse and signless, apparently in an effort to keep it edgy and gallery-like, but it ended up just keeping it anonymous and curb appeal-free. The merchandise also didn't really have much of a market, which didn't help.

This storefront was the previous home to Fifth Eye Optix, and is presided over by a notoriously difficult landlord. Hopefully the next tenant has better luck.


Fornino Park Slope Auctions Itself Off

If we needed any more proof that the Fornino on Fifth Avenue between Garfield and Carroll was closed for good, it presented itself yesterday in the form of an auction.

The restaurant, which opened to great fanfare early in 2010 but was most likely just too big to maintain, closed rather suddenly in the beginning of February and the owners didn't take much with them. According to the auction's web page, on offer were "200 chairs, 50 tables, cooking equipment, refrigerators, work tables, sinks, Hobart mixers, and more."

It really appears as if literally everything in the restaurant was up for grabs; the 80-plus photos on that page show the ice machine, computers, liquor, the sound system, dishes, pots and pans, lighting fixtures, beer taps, canned goods, high chairs, and even chef's whites. The photo up top is from Saturday afternoon, when it was being set up.

There have been plenty of rumors floating around about a potential new tenant lined up for the space, but from what I can gather nothing has yet been set in stone. This is a big, high profile space, though, right in the middle of one of the city's main restaurant rows, and the next occupant could have the potential to alter the character of the whole strip.


Closed for Business: Filfila Falafel, 310 Ninth Street

Filfila, the falafel shop that opened back in September of 2011 on Ninth Street just west of Fifth Avenue, has closed. Signage has been removed, the space has been cleared out, and the phone line has been disconnected.

The shop, which was previously occupied by Pita Hut, was run by two longtime friends, Salah and Emad, and Salah's mother could be found in the kitchen near-daily preparing her old family recipes, which included falafel, shawarma, kebabs, lentil soup, and baklava. Tahini and hot sauce were also made from scratch, and falafel sandwiches sold for a very reasonable $3.50.

I first tried their falafel right after they opened, and found it fresh, crispy, and (nearly) comparable to what you'd find at Mamoun's in Manhattan (in fact, one of the owners previously worked at the legendary shop).

The listing notes that it closed suddenly "due to family emergency, and partner disagreement," and also mentions that the $2,600/month rent is a "very cheap lease for [the] area," which is certainly reasonable for a storefront, even though the space is only 450 square feet.


Closed for Business: Canaille Bistro, 78 Fifth Avenue

Canaille, the small French Bistro on Fifth Avenue between St. Marks and Warren that had a great reputation but was marred in recent months by a prolonged closure and a menu revamp, finally closed for good over the weekend. I ran into the building's owner right after the "For Lease" sign went up, and he told me the reason for the closure was unpaid rent. The space has already been cleared out, and according to the listing, the rent is $4,500/month, plus electric, or $67.50/square foot/ year. 

The cozy bistro, run by the husband and wife duo of Philippe de Crespi and Marie MacLean, was considered one of the neighborhood's hidden gems, and they arguably served the best French food around. The owners were in the restaurant nightly, and eating there was like dining in their living room.

In July of last year, after five years in business, the restaurant closed suddenly, and even though a sign said it would only be closed for a couple weeks, it didn't open back up until October.

Sadly, when it did re-open, it was but a shadow of its former self. Renamed "Canaille Wine Bar," it appeared as if the kitchen was no longer operational, as the emphasis was on cheese, charcuterie, a few cold appetizers, and wine. It was only open sporadically, with odd hours, and the axe finally fell over the weekend.

This is a loss that's actually worth mourning (even though the classic Canaille has been gone for months); a real mom and pop passion project restaurant that served fresh-made, no-frills French food in a low-key, unpretentious atmosphere. Sad to see it meet such an unceremonious fate.


Closed for Business: Tasti D-Lite, 339 Seventh Avenue

The Tasti D-Lite on Seventh Avenue between Ninth and Tenth Streets has closed up shop. Many thanks to a tipster for sending word that a "For Rent" sign is in the window and that it wasn't open last night. And while the phone line hasn't yet been disconnected, calls have gone unanswered.

There's certainly no shortage of frozen yogurt in the neighborhood, with the newest one, Yogurtland, opening about six blocks away in January. Winter is never a great time to run a frozen yogurt shop, especially one with so much local competition. This location was also robbed three times by the same bandit last year, losing about $600 in total.


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