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Entries in Closed for Business (148)


Closed for Business: Sun Bo Bo, 451 Fifth Avenue

Sun Bo Bo, the Chinese restaurant that's held down its storefront on Fifth Avenue between 10th and 11th Streets for at least fifteen years, closed up shop recently. While the phone line seems to still be working, it's been closed for quite a while now and the interior appears to be in the process of being dismantled.

Its Yelp reviews make clear this this wasn't a run of the mill Chinese restaurant, even though it might have appeared to be; apparently they used white meat chicken, the food wasn't too greasy, portions were huge, it was run by a father and son, and even the won ton soup stood above the pack.


Closed for Business: Five Guys, 164 Park Place

Nearly a year and a half since opening, and about two months since being put up for rent, the Flatbush Avenue outpost of Five Guys, the rapidly expanding national burger chain, has closed. The phone line has been disconnected and signage has been taken down.

While Five Guys is generally quite popular, and this is a high traffic location (both pedestrian and auto), I never saw many people in there, and its giant dining room was never more than half-full. With a probable recent rent increase (hence the "For Rent" sign), it's apparent that corporate just made the executive decision to pull the plug.

Another likely influence upon its closure, in my opinion, is the opening of the Barclays Center. Two years ago, this location would have appeared to be a cash cow for several reasons: proximity to the arena (and those walking to and from events from their parking spots), proximity to the subway (and those passing by on their way home from work), and proximity to the thousands of people who live within walking distance in Park Slope, Prospect Heights, and Fort Greene.

Unfortunately, they also had several elements working against them: a square footage (and therefore, most likely, a rent) that was far too large, a mostly ambivalent neighborhood, and (most tellingly) an arena-geared presumed clientele that never materialized.

As it's quite likely that the space has already been rented, it probably won't be long before we know what its replacement will be. As the For Rent sign has come down from the space formerly occupied by New Happy Taco next door, something tells me that this block will look a lot different a few months from now.


Closed for Business: Rita Knox Realty, 241 Fifth Avenue

Rita Knox Realty, on the well-trafficked corner of Fifth Avenue and Carroll Street, has been packed up and shut down. According to a message on the real estate agent's website, the company has gone entirely online after 27 years in the space.

I was always mildly intrigued by this storefront, largely due to the fact that there never really seemed to much going on inside, and was also pleased that they kept the old neon vertical sign for the liquor store that previously occupied the space.

As always, it will be very interesting to see what ends up taking over the space. If Moutarde is indeed closed across the street, then that's two of the most prime (and presumably expensive) corner storefronts in the neighborhood for rent, right across the street from each other.


Watana Siam Is Now Jai Dee

Watana Siam, the Thai restaurant on Seventh Avenue between 13th and 14th Streets, quietly morphed into a completely different Thai restaurant last month.

The space itself and prices are about the same, but just about everything else has changed. The name, Jai Dee, is new, as well as the ownership and menu. This new menu offers few surprises, and seems to stick to the tried-and-true Spice-style formula, focusing on a solid lunch special, appetizers like Thai spring rolls and chicken satay, Tom Yum soup, fried rice, sauteed noodles, curries, grilled meats, duck, and crispy whole fish.

Now that's not necessarily a bad thing (not every new Thai restaurant can be Pok Pok), and loyal fans of Watana will most likely be able to find something analogous to their standbys, but the few Yelp reviews seem to indicate that the new version isn't exactly an improvement on what was there before. The scallion pancakes (which are closer to fritters), seem to be standouts, though, along with the grilled pork and green curry.

Jai Dee Restaurant 420 Seventh Avenue Brooklyn NY 11215. Phone: 718-832-1544.

Click through for the full menu (click on the images for larger versions).

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Closed for Business: Yogo Monster, 90 Fifth Avenue

Two months after a For Rent sign went up in the front window of Yogo Monster, the fro-yo shop on Seventh Avenue between Union and Berkeley, the store has closed for business.

It's been an interesting time for fro-yo in the neighborhood, with the arrival of Pinkberry, Yogurberry, Pearl Gate (and soon-to-open Yogurtland), and the closure of longtime shops like Yogo Monster and Oko. Business has been flagging for Yogo Monster for quite some time, and a recent renovation and menu expansion didn't do much to help.

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