I have been out of town a lot recently, so when a friend filled me in that Socrates had closed while I was away, I didn’t want to believe her. Last night’s stroll down Manhattan confirmed my dark fear that my friend was actually right. There was a rent sign hanging in the window. Even though I had seen it with my own two eyes, I still didn’t want to believe it, so I called their number and the phone was disconnected. I found this picture online, so it looks like there are some other sad Greenpointers out there too.

Socrates might have been too good of a secret. You would’ve never known passing by that behind its unassuming dining room was the most amazing deck looking out over the garden’s of Greenpoint. On warm weekend mornings, I would laugh at brunch lines and head straight to Socrates for an ice coffee, a breakfast sandwich and peacefully enjoy the views of the Brooklyn backyard. Oh, AND. The owners were extremely kind and accommodating people. RIP Socrates. You will be missed.

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  1. LIke all the other OLD style places in Greenpont they get forced out by the so called HIPSTERS NOT going to the business.
    It is funny when you see these people at enids for hours sipping on a cup of coffee but would not spend a dime on anything else
    Socrates could not survive or tolerate that so they are out
    It is a shame they will be misses

  2. Omg. I can't believe it. I remember going to Socrates with my parents when I was a kid. My last time there was a few months ago, but I at least got to sit out back.

    So sad.

  3. Yes, it's all the hipsters' fault. There was no way to tell them Socrates had an amazing backyard, and why not come and check it out. No kind of window sign or curbside board could have got such a subtle message across.

  4. I'm sorry to see places like this close, but unfortunately Socrates was not a good diner. They made a lousy hamburger–and I mean lousy by diner standards. Not only that, the service stunk — one time I was the only person in there and I still couldn't get the waitresses attention to save my life. A diner like that just isn't going to last.

  5. Well as for the diner lasting – I know Socrates has been open at least 25 years, probably more so in my opinion that's a pretty good run.

    I have to admit, the last couple of times I was in there it was empty. They really didn't do anything to compete with the new places or let people know they were even there, they kind of faded into the background which is a shame because that backyard was really an asset they could've used to their advantage way more.

    I don't think it was anyone's 'fault'. It just had a long run.

  6. This is so weird — I had a huge deja vu feeling reading this, and it turns out you reported the same news (incorrectly, thank goodness!) way back in 2007. This suggests that: 1) I've been enjoying your blog for a while!; and 2) The way Socrates is set up, next to an adjoining real estate office, may be misleading — in the photo you have above, the restaurant is on the far left and still clearly open, though it's confusing since the awning overhangs the For Rent space next door as well. Then again, that photo is clearly from warmer days — guess I need to bundle up and go check it out myself!

  7. Wow you're right! I posted about this in 2007 on a tip from another (now defunct) blog but it turned out that they had just closed half of their space at that time. The picture Kea uses in this post is the same one from that time.

    Considering their phone is now disconnected, I guess this time it's for real. 🙁

  8. Nick told me they were closing about a week before they shuttered the doors. I've been going there since I was a kid. The quality of the food really did deteriorate in the past year. Sad to see it go. They had delicious fried!

  9. I'm sad to see this place go too. The deck was really nice in the spring and fall.

    I'm a little bothered by all the hipster talk, and I don't think it has to do with any demographic…if anything it was the fact that there were three diners (Lite Bite, 3 Decker, maybe another?) with in a block of each other.

    I can only hope that whatever goes in that space is less heinous than La Brique. With a patio as big as the one Socrates had they were very considerate to their neighbors in respect to noise at night…I can't say the same about La Brique.

  10. I agree that I don't think it has to do with the 'hipsters' either. Three Decker is still in business so it's not for lack of new people checking out old establishments.

  11. Seems the "hipsters" are the scapegoats for everything happening in Greenpoint that the 'townies' don't like. Before we blamed the hipsters we blamed the then new influx of Poles, so…. begs the question. Who will be next. Shame.

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