Food

Former West Village Restaurant Properties Being Converted to Retail Stores

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Once a pie shop and café

Routinely, monthly roundups of restaurant openings and closings show twice as many openings as closings, as we mentioned in our recent pessimistic assessment of the challenges facing restaurateurs today. We’re apparently in a huge hospitality bubble, wherein any place that debuts with enough hype seems to attract crowds and make money. But how long can this boom continue?

Perhaps the signs foretelling the end are already here. In the West Village, for example — one of the era’s most popular locations for fine dining — storefronts that were once restaurants are being turned to non-restaurant uses. Concurrently, the inventory of vacant restaurants has grown. Here are some examples in both categories.

At 330 Bleecker Street, at the busy corner of Christopher and Bleecker, a valuable storefront that was once a bakery and coffee shop, is now being converted to a store selling designer English colognes and candles. We wrote about the café’s closing.

A store next to Five Guys near the corner of Barrow and Seventh Avenue South is transforming from an organic pizzeria to a seller of high-end belts — and we don’t mean expensive cocktails.

At the corner of Perry and West 4th Street, a long-vacant storefront that was once a Sardinian restaurant will now be a designer clothing and handbag store.

At Bank and Bleecker, long-running Thai restaurant Toons — just about the last Siamese remaining in the West Village — is being replaced by French clothier Maje.

An off-price (and quite decent) spaghetti restaurant at the corner of Perry and Greenwich Avenue that closed about a year ago is now a trendy men’s barbershop.

Next: A few of the currently troubled restaurant storefronts …

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Margarita mill on Greenwich Avenue near Charles Street with a large square footage is now vacant.

Ill-fated space on Sixth Avenue right above the subway entrance with idyllic backyard has been three different restaurants in the last two years, now tenantless.

Popular fish store next to Murray’s Cheese on Bleecker — once a Wild Edibles, then a Lobster Place — is now vacant. Will it remain food-oriented?

Former location of Murray’s Cheese at the corner of Bleecker and Cornelia has been vacant since Murray’s moved out several years ago.

An Italian wine shop on Greenwich Avenue near Charles failed to make a go of it, currently vacant.

This hapless corner restaurant space at Clarkson and Seventh Avenue South has been several different places in the last few years, including a barbecue and a steakhouse, and now lies empty.

On Bleecker between Grove and Seventh Avenue South, this property has experienced some spectacular failures — including Anita Lo’s Bar Q, and, later, Choptank, an attempt to bring the taste of Baltimore to the city.

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