Resto Apocalypse on Hudson Street
581 Hudson Street: The former Valdino West was once the home of Trattoria d'Alfredo, the city's first Tuscan-style restaurant, and a hangout of James Beard.
If you're accustomed to gauging the health of the restaurant industry as I do by watching the openings and closings on Eater, and noticing that there usually seem to be more places opening than closing, this photo essay may come as a shock.
On the three blocks of Hudson Street between Charles Street and Bank Street, there are currently nine restaurants that have gone out of business in the last two years, several within the last few months. Despite the popularity of the neighborhood, which was recently designated one of the wealthiest zip codes in the country, these storefronts are finding no ready takers. In fact, the number of closed restaurants in the immediate neighborhood far outstrips those that are still open.
The papered-over storefronts give the neighborhood a derelict quailty, even though such hotspots as Spotted Pig, Employees Only, and August are just steps away. But whether this accretion of closed places is indicative of the restaurant downturn, or just the result of greedy landlords raising square footage prices much higher than the market will bear, remains to be seen. But whatever the reason is, these photos represent a sort of restaurant apocalypse in the West Village.
557 Hudson Street: Once the home of DaAndrea, which the Voice said was a prime date spot when it opened up.
551 Hudson Street: Alfama, one of only a couple of Portuguese restaurants in Manhattan, and a damn good one, closed last week.
535 Hudson Street: Monster Sushi, a behemoth storefront, was once known as Godzilla Sushi, but the monster's heirs sued.
533 Hudson Street: Named after a pretty walled town in Tuscany, Pizza Lucca was one of several slice places in the neighborhood, of which nearly all are gone.
531 Hudson Street: Rubyfruit was for ten years a popular lesbian-themed restaurant. It closed with the promise that it would reopen in time for the Gay Rights Parade under the name RF Lounge, but it never happened.
570 Hudson Street: Hudson Corner was long a favorite brunch spot, with a pretty outdoor seating area, and plainish but not repulsive food of an eclectic sort.
578 Hudson Street: Mama Buddha was often thronged with parents who had small children, because kids love Cantonese food. The storefront is now being repurposed as a bank.
579 Hudson Street: This falafel-stand-cum-grocery-store was one of the first restos in the area to bite the dust, and has been closed for two years at least.
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