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Entries in Closed for Business (166)


Closed for Business: Zito's Sandwich Shoppe, 300 7th Avenue

This one's a shocker: the original location of Zito's Sandwich Shoppe, which opened on Seventh Avenue between Seventh and Eighth Streets in August of 2011 and quickly established itself as one of the best Italian sandwich shops in the city, closed for business today. According to a note the owners, Marcello Bucca and Enzo Conigliaro, posted to Twitter, they lost their lease on the space. 

Thankfully, the location on Fifth Avenue, which opened in June of last year between Union and Berkeley, is essentially an exact replica of the original, and isn't going anywhere. "We're examining all options but for now 5th Ave is where we're at for at least 10 years," they also added. They'll also be expanding delivery service from the Fifth Avenue location to cover the Seventh Avenue location's range. 

While this is a sad day for sandwich lovers, we should all be very thankful that they opened that second outpost. 


Melt "Closed for Renovations"

Melt, the restaurant on Bergen Street just east of Fifth Avenue, was closed over the weekend, with a sign on the door saying that it's "temporarily closed today for renovation," even though none have so far taken place.

Melt is one of those restaurants that's generally well-reviewed, and is a well-designed space serving a well-planned menu, but it doesn't leap to mind when asked what the best restaurants in the neighborhood are. It's perhaps best-known as the launching pad for chef Mark Simmons, who appeared on Top Chef and opened Kiwiana, and for its brunch.

Every time I've walked past it it's been relatively empty, so I'd say that there's a higher than usual chance that the restaurant might not recover from this closure (and we've seen many times before that being "closed for renovation" rarely means just that, even though City Sub has thankfully since reopened after its brief closure a couple weeks ago). I've reached out to the restaurant and will update if I hear back from them, but they haven't posted any explanation for the closure on Facebook or Twitter so far.


Royal Video Closes on Flatbush, Ken Thompson Campaign Office Moves In

Royal Video, which occupied the corner spot on Sixth and Flatbush for many years before moving into a smaller space further up the avenue, closed down as planed, and has been replaced by a campaign office for Brooklyn District Attorney candidate Ken Thompson.

Royal Video spent 20 years in its original location before moving to Flatbush Avenue opposite Seventh in 2007, and the space remained vacant for years until Woodland opened up there in May of last year. Its owners announced its closure last month, and now a temporary campaign office for Ken Thompson (there's another one on Fulton and Grand) has replaced it.

Thompson, a former Brooklyn federal prosecutor, is not to be confused with Bill Thompson, who's running for the Democratic mayoral nomination.


Jackie's Fifth Amendment to Close September 14th

It was only a few years ago when Park Slope had no lack of what you might call "old man bars," older drinking establishments that predate a time when anyone might have even considered bringing their toddler to one, that opened early and served no-frills drinks to no-frills people in a no-frills room. There was the great O'Connors, Timboo's, Smith's, Old Carriage Inn, Mooney's, and Jackie's Fifth Amendment, bars where time seemed to stand still and the regulars all knew each other's names. O'Connor's, Timboo's, and Mooney's are all gone or have been transformed into different bars, and it's been announced that Jackie's will be the next to go, on September 14th.

Jackie's has been a bar since most likely the 1940s, when it was called Costello's. During the 60s and 70s it was called Tyson's Tavern, then briefly called His & Hers. In the 1980s it was sold back to the previous owner's daughter, Jackie Costello, and she named it "Fifth Amendment" because nobody was required to give their last name or let whatever happened in the bar leave the bar, according to bartender Linda. Jackie was a beloved neighborhood fixture for many years, and could always be counted on to serve a free Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner to her more down-on-their luck patrons (this was a time when there were a lot more SROs in the neighborhood when there are today, needless to say).

Jackie Costello

After Jackie passed away in 2005, her husband, Harold, took over the bar with his friend Sammy. According to bartender Becky (who famously attempted to secede the bar from Park Slope last year), Harold, who's now pushing 70, has decided to retire and, according to Brooklyn Magazine, has sold the bar to the pharmacy next door, who will presumably expand into the corner space.

Drinking at a bar like Jackie's (or O'Connor's, or even McSorley's, for that matter) is a rather different experience from drinking at a modern bar, especially during the daylight hours and on a weekday. I'd recommend you drop into Jackie's at some point before it closes, to overhear regulars chatting, take in the stuccoed ceiling, padded bar, wood-paneled walls, long-unused back room, jukebox, and no-nonsense attitude, and pay respects to a dying breed.


First Street's South Brooklyn Pizza Posessed by City Marshal

The location near the corner of 7th Avenue and First Street of South Brooklyn Pizza, the pricey mini-chain of slice joints, was posessed last Wednesday by the City Marshal, and has yet to re-open. The landlord now has legal posession of the premises, and as opposed to the infamous yellow DOH closure sticker, this won't be so easy to remedy; odds are that rent hasn't been paid in quite some time, and the odds of it ever re-opening are probably quite slim.

The is the latest in a string of mismanaged businesses by owner and infamous area landlord James McGown; his reputation is so terrible that he was recently profiled in Crain's with the headline, "James McGown Buys, Bankrupts, and Bruises." In the piece, it's revealed that in the past 5 years he's faced $50,000 in fines for buildings he owns that are in disrepair, and has filed bankruptcy after bankruptcy, with nearly $15 million in unpaid debts.

McGown also owns Brooklyn Buschenschank in Carroll Gardens and the Cherry Tree bar on 4th Avenue (which filed for bankruptcy 4 years after he bought it but is still open); he bought Brooklyn's oldest bar, P.J. Hanley's, in 2005, and that closed earlier this year after it went bankrupt. It's since re-opened as a new bar called Goldenrod.

In August of last year, South Brooklyn Pizza filed for bankruptcy as well, but also remains (mostly) open. There are still several locations in the city, including one on 4th Avenue that's attached to Cherry Tree.

Many thanks to reader Erica for sending in the photo.

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