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Bar Sardine
Photograph: Courtesy Bar Sardine / Gabriel Stulman

26 notable NYC restaurants and bars that have now permanently closed

New Yorkers didn’t have a chance to give a final farewell to some of their favorite restaurants and bars.

By Bao Ong
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New York City’s restaurants and bars have never faced a more challenging time than in the past six months. As city and state officials work to contain a possible second wave of the current crisis, businesses have been able to slowly reopen. But many have not been able to weather the financial impact and have closed forever.

Indoor dining is set to make a return across the five boroughs come September 30th, but many establishments are still taking a wait-and-see approach before they can safely. Since the lockdown began in mid March, the number of new takeout and delivery options keep growing, some new restaurants have opened and it appears outdoor dining may still remain an option until it gets too cold. Still, many New Yorkers didn’t have a chance to give a final farewell to the following establishments below.

Bar Sardine
Bar Sardine
Photograph: Filip Wolak

Bar Sardine

We’ll always remember the burgers at Gabriel Stulman’s gastropub, an intimate 28-seat corner spot in the West Village. It was a place that felt like it catered to locals as much as diners there on a first date.

Taladwat
Taladwat
Photograph: Courtesy of Taladwat

Taladwat

Dining at Taladwat was akin to attending a pot luck—but much better because you’re sharing dishes that span the southern, central and western regions of Thailand. Chef David Bank doled out rich, spicy curries and hearty pork dishes that you don’t find from your local Thai takeout joint.

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West Bourne
West Bourne
Photograph: Courtesy West Bourne/Nicole Franzen

West Bourne

The Mushreuben—a vegetarian spin on the diner classic had us dreaming of the roasted maitake mushrooms with sauerkraut, peppadew peppers, melted Swiss cheese and special sauce between toasted caraway-rye bread—was one of our favorite dishes in 2019. Other plates at Camilla Marcus’s Soho restaurant brought a cool West Coast vibe to New York we’ll miss.

Good Stuff Diner
Good Stuff Diner
Photograph: Time Out / Adam Feldman

Good Stuff Diner

This neighborhood favorite in Chelsea on Sixth Avenue was one of the rare restaurants open 24/7 and an example of yet another dying breed of business: a no-frills New York City diner with quick, comfortable and warm (if no-nonsense) service.

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Mermaid Inn
Mermaid Inn
Photograph: Courtesy of Mermaid Inn

Mermaid Inn

The original East Village location was a favorite for happy hour whether you wanted oysters, lobster rolls or even a Bloody Mary during the week. Luckily, there are three other locations in the city (Greenwich Village, Chelsea and Upper West Side).

Fat Radish
Fat Radish
Photograph: Lindsay Maclean Taylor

Fat Radish

The Fat Radish may have had a reputation for being a hangout for the fashion set but it was a destination worthy for its food, too. From burgers to seasonal salads, there was a bit of everything here for everyone.

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Uncle Boons
Uncle Boons
Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz

Uncle Boons

Ever since opening in 2013, diners packed into Ann Redding and Matt Danzer’s Nolita restaurant Uncle Boons. The chefs set a stage—one filled with vintage posters and some tiki bar touches—that showcased modern Thai dishes without watering them down. New Yorkers ate it up; they loved the complex (and often fiery) dishes served in the laid back, fun environment. Now Redding and Danzer have decided to close the restaurant permanently after not reaching an agreement with their landlord.

TAK Room
TAK Room
Photograph: Adrian Gaut

TAK Room

Thomas Keller, one of America’s most decorated chefs, has permanently closed his fine dining restaurant in Hudson Yards. It was the chef’s first NYC restaurant opening in 15 years when he opened the throwback restaurant in March 2019.

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Let's Makan

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One of the few Malaysian restaurants in New York, Let’s Makan served a delightful menu of dishes—many you’d find street vendors serving in chef Michelle Lam’s homeland—such as various noodle soups and colorful desserts.

Porsena
Porsena
Photograph: Jolie Ruben

Porsena

This neighborhood favorite in the East Village was known for its comforting Italian fare by chef Sara Jenkins. 

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An Choi

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This Lower East Side Vietnamese restaurant was one of the early leaders in showcasing the Southeast Asian country’s cuisine with a modern twist. The owners still have their popular restaurant Di An Di in Greenpoint.

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Gem Spa
Gem Spa
Photograph: Courtesy of Gem Spa

Gem Spa

An East Village fixture for nearly 100 years, Gem Spa was known as much for serving its egg creams as its punk roots. The shop was already struggling to survive, but the last few months were just too tough.

Nishi
Nishi
Photograph: Zach DeZon

Nishi

David Chang closed Nishi, a restaurant that was often overlooked in the chef’s Momofuku empire, but it was a sleeper hit of sorts—despite uneven reviews at first—for many with its innovative take on Italian cuisine. The celebrity chef is also moving his beloved Ssäm Bar from the East Village to take place of Bar Wayō, which opened last year, in the South Street Seaport. Elsewhere, a D.C. Momofuku location is also shuttered.

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Pegu Club
Pegu Club
Photograph: Time Out / Ali Garber

Pegu Club

As one of the best bars in New York, Pegu Club was also one of the seminal bars of the craft cocktail movement. Countless bartenders worked here that went on to open their own spots that New Yorkers have come to love. 

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Lucky Strike

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Before there was Balthazar or Pastis, Keith McNally’s Lucky Strike was a beloved Soho restaurant since its opening in 1989. While the neighborhood has been stripped of its artistic-bohemian vibe (and replaced with luxury stores through the years), this was one spot that made you feel like you found a one-of-a-kind treasure.

The Aviary
The Aviary
Photograph: Time Out / Ali Garber

The Aviary

The Alinea Group’s high-end cocktail dens—The Aviary NYC and The Office (a more speakeasy concept)—inside the Mandarin Oriental were reportedly already slated to close in April but the pandemic pushed the opening date ahead. We marveled at the mad scientist-level concoctions here (even if the pricey cocktails meant it wasn’t an everyday spot).

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The Greene Grape Annex

A coffee shop—designed by the MP Shift team—popular for neighborhood regulars and people hanging out in Fort Greene alike, this corner spot was idyllic for hanging out and striking up conversations with strangers (in other words, it felt like a community space).

Gotham Bar & Grill
Gotham Bar & Grill
Photograph: Evan Sung

Gotham Bar & Grill

For 36 years, Gotham Bar & Grill helped set the standard for fine dining in the city. It consistently garnered rave reviews, but it was a perhaps a confluence of factors—the trend toward more casual dining, a shift in ownership and the current crisis—that lead to the restaurant’s demise.

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Takashi

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Takashi celebrated its 10th anniversary mark this spring, but diners will no longer be able to feast on its yakiniku fare (Japanese-style tabletop grilling) serving nose-to-tail cuts of beef. The restaurant offered a glimpse of the handful of quality yakitori restaurants open today.

Jewel Bako

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The East Village boasted a destination sushi restaurant long before expensive omakase tasting menus became the norm among the city’s top Japanese restaurants. Jewel Bako offered pristine seafood with a stellar sake selection.

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701West
701West
Photograph: Time Out / Ali Garber

701West

Chef John Fraser’s 701West inside the glitzy Edition Times Square Hotel is no more after the Marriott corporation announced its closing after barely a year in operation. It was one of the few destination restaurants in a neighborhood with limited choices (at least non-chain businesses) and despite its fine-dining atmosphere, the menu was very gently priced.

Toro

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This sprawling tapas restaurant garnered lots of attention when it first opened—from its respected Boston chefs to the hip downtown location on the border of the Meatpacking District serving a distinct, modern spin on Spanish cuisine.

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Daddy-O

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This neighborhood bar is an anomaly in an area where businesses are often designed to me the latest hip downtown restaurant. Sure, Daddy-O offered a fine cocktail menu and some great whiskeys, but the overall vibe was casual and welcomed everyone.

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