More than two years after New York’s first indoor dining shutdown, restaurants and bars continue to close their doors. More than 1,000 have closed since March 2020 due to the economic downturn caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Due to the difficulty of tracking restaurant and bar closings, experts say that number could be even higher, and will likely take months or even years to assess.
Below, Eater is documenting the city’s permanent restaurant closures, including scraped cheese spot Raclette and pop-up incubator KIT. If a restaurant or bar has closed in your neighborhood, let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org. This post will be updated regularly.
Crown Heights: After eight years in business, underground cheese cave Crown Finish Caves called it quits late last month. Over the years, the subterranean cheese aging facility supplied cheese to some of the city’s top restaurants and cheese shops. An announcement signaling the cave’s shutdown did not indicate a reason for the closure.
East Village: Raclette, named after the scraped, melty cheese dish popular in Switzerland and other Alpine countries, closed this week after seven years in business. Raclette owner Edgar Villongco confirmed the closure to Eater via text message but declined to provide a reason for the shutdown.
Prospect Heights: KIT, a pop-up incubator that supported queer-owned businesses, shut down last month after a year in operation. KIT — an acronym for Keep In Touch — was run by Libby Willis, who was a co-owner of the space’s former establishment, the beloved MeMe’s Diner. Earlier in June, Willis told Eater that the reason she shut down the space was both personal and financial: “I really wanted to try something new and different with KIT. I wanted to try to find a way to make a living in the food industry and under capitalism. But, with a very small team and even smaller resources, it was really difficult.”
West Village: One of NYC’s best smash burger spots, Best Burger, is no more, co-owner Billy Barlow tells Eater. According to an Instagram post from the business in March, it appears that the Little West 12th Street spot has converted into a comfort food joint with frozen drinks called BB’s; however, Barlow tells Eater that the Best Burger team is not involved in the new venture.