Recently closed wine bar Bar Vespa
A spree of business closings on Second Ave., between 91st and 95th streets, has received a lot of attention over the past year - due mainly to the impact of the Second Ave. subway’s construction, which has spurred a ton of difficulties for the businesses closest to the mayhem.
Getting far less attention - but maybe more alarming - is a recent string of businesses that shut down on an eight-block stretch between 77th and 85th streets on Second Ave., far removed (for now) from the subway's construction.
During the four-month period from June through September, a staggering 10 businesses have closed on this stretch (another shut down in May - so, 11 shuttered in a five-month period).
The businesses were a mix of chains and mom-and-pop stores; they were retailers, restaurants, wine bars and pizza spots. Some were part of a city-wide chain shuttering (Burittoville) or a nation-wide chain trimming locations (Talbots Kids) - but still, 11 is a ton in that amount of time on such a short stretch.
Not surprising, the area’s business managers and owners I spoke with pointed to a perfect storm of a struggling economy, a drop in consumer confidence and rising business costs – especially increased rents - as main causes of the closings.
So far, it's been a rough year for Italian eatery Bardolino. There was the fire back in February, which hit just in time for the place to miss that Valentine's Day sales boost, and knocked the restaurant out for almost three weeks. Now, more bad news courtesy of the New York State Department of Taxation, which, according to the posted signs on the restaurant's window, has closed and seized the premises until they fork over some cash. Any one with further info, please hit the comments.
Fire Breaks Out On 78th, Bardolino Restaurant Closed [78thand2nd]
Second Ave. has been bustling with activity recently: some openings, planned closings and spots coming down the pipe. The round-up:
Capital One: Coming to the corner of 79th and Second. A look inside over the weekend shows that this is far off from debuting anytime soon (pic of the construction inside after the jump).
Damon Deli: Coming to 1744 Second, btw 90th and 91st. Recently applied for new liquor license, which is up for review Wednesday by CB8.
Last Licks: This ice cream shop is now under construction and set to open just off the corner of 93rd and Second.
Michael's Catering: Billed as gourmet food, the deli sits between 89th and 90th, at 1731 Second, and is reasonably priced. We're a little late here, it probably opened over a month ago.
Niche Bar: (Pictured above) It opens today, according to a rep over the weekend, who seemed borderline offended when asked if it was to be a wine bar. Expect a good mix of wine, beer and food. Niche is wedged in next to Jack Russell's, between 82nd and 83rd, at 1593 Second Avenue.
Mo's Caribbean: As previously reported, the spot at 76th and 2nd is set to shut down at the end of the month and be re-invented by the same owners as "Stumble Inn," offering a more "classic bar and grill."
From the inbox over the weekend comes this opinion: "Worst bar on the Upper East Side? I think that honor should go to Iggy's on 2nd ave. And the two relics playing dice in front of the bar on Sunday night weren't helping the bar's image." Ouch.
FDNY responded to a fire at a 64th Street (btwn 1st and 2nd Avenues) high-rise this afternoon according to local ABC news. Five people -- two firefighters and three civilians -- were hurt during the blaze, which broke out in an apartment on the eighth floor of 340 East 64th Street just before 1 p.m.
The baby/kids tales continue to funnel in, with Emily recently encountering a particularly rowdy bunch at Sushi Hana on 2nd.
"A follow up to your (totally accurate) observation of the growing numbers of babies in bars: I was having dinner at [Sushi Hana] on Saturday night, and found myself surrounded by two couples, with four kids taking up at least three tables (not counting stroller ‘parking’). The parents and kids basically took over the entire middle of the restaurant, with the children screaming and running wild, on a Saturday night!
I’m not saying that parents should only be allowed to frequent Chucky Cheese or TGI Friday’s, but the personal space these parents take up seems to be getting more and more all encompassing, it’s so inconsiderate to fellow diners.
To top it off, when I mentioned it (politely) to the manager, all he said was 'it’s a public space.' "
From the look of the recently hung, huge-ass banners that mark the spot for women’s retailer Liz Kelsey (at the corner of 78th and 3rd) I’m guessing there’s a message being sent to whomever built that scaffolding in front of her store, and it probably goes something like: “I am Liz Kelsey and I. WILL. NOT. BE. DENIED. Bitches.”
Liz Kelsey Moves In [78thand2nd]