THE BLOG

What Happened to the Neighborhood Restaurant?

04/23/2014 03:01 pm ET | Updated Jun 23, 2014
shutterstock

What happened to the neighborhood restaurant? It seems now more than ever your favorite go-to has shuttered, leaving you on a hunt for a new regular spot yet again.

A recent article in The New York Observer uncovers the reason behind the surge of restaurant closures, blaming high rent and low menu prices. There is much truth to this claim -- restaurants have a hard enough time covering operation costs, and given the current rent hikes, it's no wonder they are forced to close up shop when landlords come and raise the rent. Greenwich Village favorite, 28-year-old Gray's Papaya, which closed its doors in January after a rent hike, is a prime example of this phenomenon. With neighborhood favorites who bank on their loyal customer base closing, perhaps newcomers can figure out the right recipe to success.

However, many old timers continue to strive despite their surrounding competition coming and going. Everyone's first stop for Ukrainian fair, Veselka, has been successfully operating since 1954. Russ and Daughter's on the Lower East Side, serving smoked fish and bagels for 100 years is even expanding its counter service into a café restaurant.

More than just restaurants have succumbed to their unfortunate fate. Shakespeare & Co.'s 30-year-old downtown Broadway location has joined Gray's Papaya and is currently in its last leg of business.

As the signage of these storefronts gets taken down unveiling layers of past business underneath, we are exposed to New York City history. NYC prides itself on all of the restaurant and small business options it provides its residents, but sometimes we just want a go-to spot that we can always count on being there.

We've already talked about the Manhattan skyline changing and now the ground is too. What is your favorite neighborhood restaurant or shop or has yours already shuttered? Leave your stories below, I'd love to hear them.