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Entries in Closed for Business (150)

Tuesday
Mar052013

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.

Thursday
Feb282013

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.

 

Thursday
Jan312013

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.

Tuesday
Jan222013

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.

Thursday
Dec132012

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.

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