Umberto's Clam House Closes as Birdbath Prepares to Open

Birdbath prepares to tart up Third Avenue.
Birdbath prepares to tart up Third Avenue.

Lower Manhattan's dining landscape continues to shift: Umberto's Clam House has shuttered without warning, while Maury Rubin's Third Avenue branch of Birdbath is preparing to bring hippie sandwiches and seasonal fruit tarts to NYU and its environs.

Rubin announced in July that he'd be opening three more locations of his bakery; the one at 35 Third Avenue follows a location in the New Museum and precedes another in Tribeca. Jeremiah Moss noticed that the windows of the Third Avenue store are now covered with paper and signage; as neighbors, we're hoping it opens sooner than later.

Meanwhile, farther downtown, Eater reports that the 40-year-old Umberto's Clam House closed without warning yesterday. Per a sign in the window, the restaurant will reopen in a new location under new ownership; according to staff, that new location will be a few blocks south and may open in six to eight weeks, once the lease is finalized.

The last time Umberto's closed, in 1996, it stayed closed for four years. But rather than holding your breath, you can get yourself up to the restaurant's other location on Arthur Avenue; although it doesn't claim proximity to murdered mobsters, it does serve excellent octopus.

UPDATE: It looks like the Tribeca branch of Birdbath actually opened today -- the Tribeca Citizen has some photos.

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