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Entries in Closed for Business (154)

Tuesday
Sep302014

Closed for Business: A.O.C. Bistro, 259 5th Avenue

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.

Friday
Sep052014

Closed for Business: Brooklyn Fish Camp, 162 5th Avenue

After ten years, Brooklyn Fish Camp, the seafood restaurant on 5th between St. John's and Lincoln, has closed up shop. It hasn't been open since last weekend, and the now-defunct website says simply, "Our 10-year lease is up." A tipster told me that a rent increase was the reason for the closure, and indeed the new rent seems to be significantly higher than the previous one.

The restaurant, an offshoot of the West Village's popular Mary's Fish Camp, was put on the market briefly last February, but that appeared to be a false alarm. The asking price back then was $6,333 per month, which was  reasonable for the location considering that there was enough room for a bar area and backyard. Now, the 1,200 square foot space is on the market for $10,500. "Suggested uses" on the listing include "restaurant, specialty food retail, retail clothing, shoes and accessories, cosmetics, jewelry."

Fish Camp wasn't cheap, but the food was consistently high-quality and the concept was novel for the neighborhood. They offered a decent happy hour and occasionally had fun specials like all-you-could-eat-and-drink peel-and-eat shrimp and beer, but apparently that wasn't enough to sustain it.

Thursday
Aug212014

Closed for Business: Terroir, 284 Fifth Avenue

Nearly two years after its high-profile opening on the corner of Fifth Avenue and First Street and 3 1/2 months since the space was put on the market, the only Brooklyn location of "elitist wine bar for everyone" Terroir has shuttered.

The mini-chain, which has locations in the East Village (the original), Murray Hill, Tribeca, and a seasonal one on the High Line, is run by Hearth team chef Marco Canora and sommelier Paul Grieco, two of the most respected guys in the business. This location had a solid selection of wines, small plates, and charcuterie, as well as a nice brunch, a reasonable and creative happy hour ($3 glasses of sherry!), and a generally funky, humorous attitude.

I reached out to Grieco, and he replied with his trademark brand of humor, saying that "unfortunately business realities doth sometimes interfere with the pursuit of a good glass of grape juice."

He also confirmed that a new tenant has been lined up for the space, but that he'll let them make the announcement when the time is right.

Monday
Jul282014

Closed for Business: Cheeburger Cheeburger, 222 Seventh Avenue

Here's some interesting news: The Seventh Avenue and Third Street location of Cheeburger Cheeburger, the chain specializing in gutbusting burgers and milkshakes, has shuttered. Many thanks to a tipster for sending the above photo of a sign on their door announcing that they've closed for good, and nobody is answering the phone.

The location opened in February 2011 in the prime space long-occpuied by Miracle Grill, and was one of the first big chains to open up on that stretch of Seventh. Many believed that a chain restaurant onslaught would follow, but all we got instead was one perpetually empty Subway, a Pinkberry, and a whole lot of empty storefronts. It also never really developed a following among locals; those visiting the hospital appeared to make up the bulk of the clientele.

So we can add one more empty storefront, most likely with an astronomical asking price, to this part of Seventh. Cheeburger isn't Shake Shack by any stretch of the imagination, but if not even the big chains can make it here, then who can?

 

Tuesday
May202014

Closed for Business: Guvnor's Vintage Thrift, 178 5th Avenue

Guvnor's, the expansive vintage thrift shop on 5th Avenue between Degraw and Sackett, closed down for good as the Fifth Avenue fair ended on Sunday after more than four years in the space.

The shop had an old-school rock and roll vibe, and the merchandise for sale, some of which dated back to the 1930s, was all undoubtedly cool, and well-curated. It was the brainchild of owner Suzette Sundae, who's owned eight similar shops in the past 20-odd years and posted a lengthy letter/airing of grievances back in January explaining the reasons behind her closure of arbuably the best vintage store in the neighborhood. Namely, she finds that the neighborhood has lost its rock-and-roll attitude and is suffering from a lack of "cultural richness."

"Anyone visiting Park Slope these days, could likely detect a marked lack in the ol' rock n roll, except at Enz's (across the street) and at a handful of bars," she wrote. "I’m not sensing a lot of 'cultural richness' either, with the exception of the cheese fridge, over at Bierkraft."

She continues: "Fewer and fewer of our “fashion-forward,” “vintagista” shoppers have been strolling in, but the strollers . . . well, those strollers continue streaming past, in endless waves of upper middle class, conservative earth tones ... The thought of selling khaki jackets and baby buggies appeals as much to me as eating Wonderbread dipped in milk ... Sure, we could move to Williamsburg, or Bushwick, but what about when those neighborhoods suffer a similar 'Conservo Scourge?'"

Sundae's rant reminds me a bit of what the owners of Southpaw said after announcing their closure, blaming it on the neighborhood's supposed shortcomings. She adds that she decided to sell the space for "generous compensation" and will now be "pursuing a life of creative freedom," and vowed that the shop will be moving online, but at the moment the Etsy store only has 13 items listed.