One of NYC's Most Charming Cheese Shops Expires — and More Closings

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One of NYC’s Most Charming Cheese Shops Expires — and More Closings
© Robert Sietsema/Eater NY The “Green Machine” sandwich at Barnyard Cheese Shop had pesto, artichokes, goat cheese, spinach, and cheddar.

More than one year after New York’s first indoor dining shutdown, restaurants and bars continue to close their doors. At least 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 right now, experts say that number could be even higher, and will likely take months or even years to assess.

Among them are newer neighborhood spots like Jeepney and Burgie’s, along with decades-old institutions including 21 Club, Fedora, and Frank’s Cocktail Lounge. Below, Eater is documenting the city’s permanent restaurant closures so far. If a restaurant or bar has closed in your neighborhood, let us know at tips@eater.com. This post will be updated regularly.

October 22

Bryant Park: Cafe Zaiya, an offshoot of Parisienne Bakery in Fort Lee, New Jersey, is permanently closed. The Japanese bakery’s sister location, located nearby on the second floor of Kinokuniya Bookstore, however, remains open.

Bushwick: Seitan Rising Vegan Cafe — the combined forces of a vegan, made-from-scratch deli meat company called Seitan’s Helper and Pisces Rising, a vegan bakery — is disbanding, despite being one of the city’s best vegan spots. While the bakery will no longer be a part of the business, sandwiches and order-at-the-counter deli cuts will still be on deck. The business, located at 2 Morgan Avenue, is renaming as just Seitan’s Helper. The combined Seitan Rising Instagram account has been deleted, so check out the @SeitansHelper for daily updates on specials.

East Village: One of New York’s most charming cheese shops, Barnyard Cheese Shop, is no more. EV Grieve reports that the business — which first opened on Avenue C in 2008 and later moved to Avenue B in 2016 — was forced to close its doors due to staffing issues. The shop’s sandwich options often made it onto Eater’s own top sandwich rankings. Owner Beatriz Gutierrez may continue to use the space for catering in the interim.

East Village: The 14th Street location of iconic hot dog spot Papaya King has shuttered, according to EV Grieve.

East Village: After almost 23 years in the East Village, Rue-B, a bar specializing in live music with a particular eye for jazz, has closed. Owner Mike Camacho, who has been in charge for the last five years, posted to Instagram that while the Alphabet City space is no more, he will be moving Rue-B to a new location.

October 15

East Village: Pioneering Filipino gastropub Jeepney, known for its impact on the city as a champion of Filipino food and culture, has ended its nine-year reign in downtown Manhattan. Owner Nicole Ponseca tells Eater that while Jeepney’s closure marks the end of her restaurant presence in NYC for now, she likely won’t be gone for long. Ponseca hopes to eventually expand Jeepney to multiple cities, in a format similar to her recently opened Miami outpost.

East Williamsburg: After less than a year in operation, Burgie’s, the Roberta’s burger offshoot from Carlo Mirarchi and Brandon Hoy, has shuttered. When the team opened Burgie’s they went a different direction from the burger they’d been known for at the pizzeria — here, it was all about the smash burger-style patty. Last month, Eater reported that the business had been marked closed on Yelp and its Instagram page has been deleted or renamed.

Gramercy: The Freehand Hotel’s star restaurant Simon & the Whale is no more. When the restaurant opened in 2018, it was lauded for being a rare hotel restaurant that could stand on its own amongst the city’s other buzzy openings. Despite the hotel’s website still listing the venture from restaurateur Gabriel Stulman, a new restaurant is indeed taking over the space, now from the team behind Colonia Verde in Fort Greene. Stulman’s Studio at the Freehand, the casual cafe upstairs, has also closed at the property.

Midtown East: Four decades after celebrity chef Lidia Bastianich opened Felidia, the Midtown restaurant that launched her career has come to an end. According to PincusCo, Bastianich sold the brownstone that’s housed her restaurant since 1981 as part of a $4.7 million deal in September. It’s not clear at this time whether Felidia will reopen at another location. Eater has reached out to Lidia and Tanya Bastianich for more information.

West Village: Restaurateur Roni Mazumdar and chef Chintan Pandya have shut down their four-year-old neighborhood Indian restaurant Rahi and replaced it with Semma, a different restaurant focusing solely on South Indian fare. A new executive chef, Vijay Kumar, has joined Mazumdar and Pandya’s restaurant group to head up the venture.

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