Wave of Closures Continues from 2017
Many famous New York City restaurants closed in 2017. High rent and labor costs were primarily responsible for the closure of about 100 eateries across New York. The same scenario appears set to repeat itself in 2018. The list of NYC restaurant closings in January 2018 has started growing; six restaurants have closed since the start of the year. New York City restaurants shut down due to a variety of factors like New York City’s high rent, renovations, or relocation.
List of New York City Restaurant Closures in January 2018
Three Midtown Japanese Restaurants
A trio of Japanese restaurants, ramen restaurant Sapporo, izakaya Sake Bar Hagi, and sushi spot Iroha, closed on January 13. All three were located in the same building, which is in need of renovations after 42 years. An Iroha manager says the restaurants’ owners can no longer ignore the building’s structural issues.
Time Square Irish pub Langan’s, a nearly 25-year-old restaurant located at 150 W. 47th St., closed on January 18. A report says the restaurant closed because the landlord wanted to raise the rent from $16,000 a month to $53,000.
Greenwich Grille restaurant in the West Village closed less than two months after its opening. A spokesperson confirmed that the restaurant closed on January 3, but they didn’t disclose the reason for the closure.
New York Sushi Ko
New York Sushi Ko restaurant, located in the Lower East Side at 91 Clinton St., closed on January 13 after more than four years in business. John Daley, the chef-owner, announced the closure on Instagram in 2017 without mentioning the reason for it.
High Rents to Blame for NYC Restaurant Closings
New York City rent hikes led to many NYC restaurant closings in 2017, and 2018 is seeing the same problem. It is becoming difficult for the New York City restaurant owners to earn a profit in the face of such costly leases. Famous eateries in the West Village, the Upper West Side of Manhattan, Smith Street in Brooklyn, and lower Bleecker Street in Manhattan have all been victims of high-rent-related troubles. NYC restaurant closings and relocations have become commonplace.
Richard Coraine, the chief of staff for Union Square Hospitality Group, said that the rent for Union Square was $4,500 a month in 1985. There has been a roughly five-fold increase in rent over 30 years, which has forced beloved restaurants to relocate.
It should be noted that on top of higher rents, many restaurants also have to contend with additional costs for things like food and labor.
Previous NYC Victims of High Rents
A rent hike forced Jonathan Morr, the owner of Republic, to close the space in 2017, three-and-a-half years before the lease expired. He said he “split the difference between what [the landlord] gets from us and what he’ll get from the next tenant.”
Danny Meyer’s Union Square Café relocated in 2015 because of high rent.
Blue Water Grill faced a new rent of more than $2.0 million annually in July 2017, so it announced it would close in 2018.
The month has not ended, and the list of NYC restaurant closings in January 2018 is likely to grow. If New York City restaurant closures in 2018 continue, this will be a dismal year for the city’s restaurant industry.
“3 Midtown Japanese Mainstays Will Close This Week,” Eater NY, January 9, 2018.
“NYC Classic ‘21’ Club Shutters for January After Pipes Burst,” Eater NY, January 8, 2018.
“Irish Pub Langan’s Will Close After 25 Years in Times Square,” Eater NY, January 8, 2018.
“Just 2 Months After Opening, West Village Harold Moore Restaurant Shutters,” Eater NY, January 4, 2018.
“New York Sushi Ko Calls it Quits on January 13,” Eater NY, January 4, 2018.
“Blue Water Grill Is in Negotiations to Stay in Union Square, Staff Says,” Eater NY, October 3, 2017.
“NYC’s high rents force some favorite restaurants to close,” Fox 5 NY, May16, 2017.
“How Rent Spikes Are Creating Fine Dining ‘Deserts’ In New York City,” Bloomberg, July 20, 2017.