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Entries in Closed for Business (166)

Friday
Mar042016

Closed for Business: Applewood, 501 11th Street

Applewood, the pioneering farm-to-table restaurant, has closed after 11 years on 11th Street near 7th Avenue, DNAinfo reports. Owners David and Laura Shea told the site that running the restaurant while living in upstate Columbia County, where they moved to three and a half years ago, had become "a herculean task."

Applewood opened in September 2004, and with its seasonally-changing menu and emphasis on fresh and sustainable local ingredients it was at the vanguard of a movement that's since become the norm. For years it's been considered one of the neighborhood's best, but with the arrival of newer options like Talde, which occupies the opposite corner, it's hard to imagine that its slightly off-the-beaten-path location didn't begin to work against it. “There’s room for everybody, but at the same time I started to feel like the Brooklyn restaurant scene was getting pretty diluted,” Shea told DNAinfo. “There were just too many choices.”

A quintessential neighborhood mom-and-pop spot, Applewood will certainly be missed. There's been a trend of New York City chefs and restaurateurs choosing to open restaurants upstate, however, so I have a feeling that we haven't heard the end of the Sheas.

Tuesday
Mar012016

Closed for Business: Fresh Bite, 168 5th Avenue

Eight months after opening on the Fifth Avenue and Degraw Street, the corner deli Fresh Bite has closed.

The shop was clean and had a decent selection of baked goods and sandwiches, but never attracted much of a clientele. Whereas other nearby bodegas, like 5th Ave Market on Berkeley, for example, sell as many items as can possibly be packed into the space, Fresh Bite stocked a relatively small number of healthy and gourmet items, and I imagine it was awfully tough to sell enough Boar's Head sandwiches and steam table hot foods to make rent.

With no shortage of corner delis in the immediate area, we can officially say that adding another one into the mix wasn't a good idea.

Tuesday
Jul212015

Closed for Business: Urban Wellness, 72 Seventh Avenue

Urban Wellness, the supplement shop that opened on Seventh Avenue between Berkeley and Lincoln in late March, has closed for good. The shop is in the process of being cleared out and was locked up over the weekend.

The blink-and-you'll-miss-it shop sold specialty health foods as well as a variety of vitamins and supplements. It also sold fresh juices (or "elixirs") and some housemade foods like salads and crostini.

While the shop had a Facebook page, its low-key signage never did a good job of communicating what was for sale (or even if the shop was open or not), and with competition incluing Back to the Land and the Park Slope Food Coop nearby it never really found a niche. Even though it didn't just sell vitamins (supplement offerings ranged from non-psychoactive vaporized cannabidiol to herbal mixtures intented to kill off parasites), the market was just too niche, and many potential customers probably didn't even know it existed.

At four months in business, this closed a full three months sooner than the shop that came before it, The Walk-In Cookbook, which was around from August 2013 to March 2014. While it's nice to see the landlord giving niche local businesses a shot in this high-rent space (The Walk-In Cookbook sold recipes along with perfectly-measued ingredients), neither of those businesses seemed exactly destined for success.

These two storefronts were renovated and restored at great expense by the building's owner in 2012 after restaurant La Taqueria moved out. The last incarnation of Ozzie's Coffee (Renamed Noella Brew Bar) and DIY pottery studio The Painted Pot were quick to move in after the renovation, but The Painted Pot soon moved up the avenue, so now both of these attractive storefronts sit vacant.

With such a poor track record, it'll be interesting to see whether the landlord fills these spaces with yet more risky tenants, opts for something potentially more stable like a chain, or simply allows them to sit vacant.

Monday
Jun292015

Closed for Business: Brooklyn Central Pizza, 289 Fifth Avenue

Some sad news for brick oven pizza lovers: Brooklyn Central, the Neapolitan pizzeria that opened on Fifth Avenue between First and Second Streets in October 2012, has shut down. The windows have been papered over and the phone has been disconnected. Many thanks to the several tipsters who reached out to let me know, and for reader Gabo for forwarding the above photo.

Brooklyn Central opened with a fair amount of fanfare, namely because of their custom-built Stefano Ferrara pizza oven and the fact that the two owners, Naples-born Roberto Patriarca and Matt Hyland, were both veterans of Boerum Hill's renowned Sottocasa. Hyland left just six weeks after its opening (he's since opened Clinton Hill's super-popular pizzeria Emily), but the closure is still a bit surprising because it had a reputation for very good pizza and it always seemed to have a fair amount of diners inside. And aside from Franny's and Giuseppina's, there aren't many other places in the area to get a solid and authentic Neapolitan pizza.

That said, there are a few potential reasons for its closure: It never got nearly as much buzz as it probably should have, their Twitter and Facebook pages were lacking, the seating arrangement was awkward and the back yard never got much use, the menu probably could have used some pasta dishes and wider non-pizza options, they didn't deliver, and, of course, high rents.

The space has been on the market for the past few months; if it's been rented we'll probably be learning about its replacement soon.

Monday
Jun152015

Breaking: Zito's Sandwich Shoppe Closes on Fifth, Indian Restaurant Moving In

Some sad news to report via Twitter: The only remaining Park Slope location of Zito's Sandwich Shoppe, which opened its (now-closed) Seventh Avenue location with much fanfare in 2011 and expanded to a second location at 195 5th Avenue (between Union and Berkeley) the following year, has sold its space. Owner Marcello Bucca confirmed that the shop has already closed, and that the owner of the next occupant of the space, a "fantastic Indian" restaurant, will begin renovations tomorrow. 

Those looking for their Italian sandwich fix will have to travel to the only remaining location, which opened last year in Bay Ridge. 

Here is their farewell sign: