A.O.C. Bistro, the French restaurant on the corner of 5th Avenue and Garfield Place, has closed up shop. It's been shuttered for the past few days, the phone has been disconnected, and several tipsters have written in to let me know that it's closed for good.
The restaurant opened in August 2007, and was one of those places that always seemed to be full even though nobody ever talked about going there. It was a popular inexpensive brunch spot with its menu of French classics like croque monsieur and salade Nicoise, and the dinner menu was by-the-book French bistro, with offerings including poulet frites, coq au vin, duck confit, and moules marinere. They also introduced a couple specials in recent years, including a $1 oyster promotion. It wasn't one of the best restaurants in the neighborhood by any means, but it certainly filled a niche.
The space was actually first listed back in January 2012. This joins an increasing number of vacant prime storefronts on this stretch of Fifth, including the ones last occupied by Guvnor's and Terroir. Hopefully the string of vacancies that's taken over the north end of Seventh Avenue hasn't found its way east, but at this rate the space will probably become a nail salon.