Save NYC’s Neighborhood Restaurants

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 One of the things that makes NYC unique, is all our charming, family owned neighborhood restaurants.  Sadly, many of them are closing their doors.  The most recent one is Bistro 61.  Here’s the email they sent to their customers.

 The emotion and love we at Bistro61 are feeling is overwhelming. Thank you all. We’d like to answer the question on everyone’s minds-why?

There’s not one reason, there’s many. Yes rents are rising but that’s not it alone. When gas prices rose so did food prices. When gas prices went back down, someone forget to tell the food purveyors. Opentable. Great concept for reservations but it cost us a lot. Grubhub and Seamless. Great for food ordering but it cost us 28%. Labor costs are through the roof. When you are not thriving at $11 per hour, don’t wait for $13 later this year and $15 next year.

Last but not least, the city and state are making it impossible to operate a small business in NYC. We are harassed by every city and state agency. Instead of embracing small businesses for providing jobs, these agencies are finding new ways to raise revenue by any means necessary. All of this, combined with the fact that people in general are eating out less. As a result, we have decided it’s time to move on. It was not an easy decision. We thank you for all the wonderful years of support, and all of the great relationships formed. We will miss each and every one of you.  Jon & Adil

At the end of last year, several small restaurants closed, including the 50-seat French restaurant Parigot, at 155 Grand St.  Co-owner, Catherine Amsellem said,  “It is impossible for a mom-and-pop shop to survive in New York City,” she concluded. At lease negotiations, the landlord had offered a three-year lease instead of the standard 10, but the space needed at least $50,000 in repairs—which didn’t seem worth it for such a short term.”

It would be a sad day if NYC only consisted of high-end celebrity chef owned restaurants and chains. So support your neighborhood restaurants, and send a note to our Mayor asking him support NYC’s small businesses. And please share this post with your friends.

Looking for some great neighborhood restaurants?  Check out The Three Tomatoes Hot List, our curated guide to the best finds in NYC, including wonderful neighborhood restaurants.

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2 Responses

  1. Avatar Lorinda Klein says:

    Bistro 61 is/was one of my favorite places. I will miss it.
    It was a true gem.

  2. Avatar Ellen Seymour says:

    This is sad. My husband and I travel from PA over three hours just to dine at wonderful NYC neighborhood restaurants. I hope New York residents will consider a candidate’s views on regulatory climate and support of small businesses when they go to the polls.

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