2020 was rough for independent businesses. On Sunday, March 22, Governor Cuomo ordered all nonessential businesses to halt operations, only after mandating bars and restaurants operate at half capacity the previous week.
While takeout, curbside service and more pandemic-friendly innovations have helped local businesses persevere, the operative costs of renting space, paying staff and just doing good work have been unmanageable for so many business owners.
Unfortunately, Greenpoint isn’t immune to the city-wide shutterings of beloved bars, restaurants and shops that make our neighborhood special. Here’s an ever-growing list of the local Greenpoint eateries that have been shuttered in the wake of COVID-19:
OTT Thai (2001-2020)
After twenty years in Greenpoint, this casual Thai restaurant already had plans to close, which ended up being fortuitous for local chef Monurai Bhakdina, who renovated and reopened the restaurant as Little Tiffin. Her menu focuses on Thai homestyle cooking, offering her own take on dishes familiar to OTT’s clientele, like chicken satay, pad thai and pad see ew, as well as more regional specialties, like khao soi and goong ob woonsen.
The Royal Brooklyn (2003-2020)
After a teenage tenure on Manhattan Ave, The Royal called it quits this past June, with a “Thank You” message written on its door. The bar was a local hangout for beer, billiards and Tuesday Bingo nights, as well as a popular gathering spot to watch sports.
While longtime Greenpointers may be sad to see a 43-year-old local deli disappear, it’s not all bad news for this cornerside store. In July, local caterer Edouard Massih signed a lease with Maria, to convert the space into Edy’s Grocer, which will open in mid-August and continue to sell some of Maria’s specialty sandwiches and grocery items.
The beloved neighborhood restaurant, once housed at the current site of Chez Ma Tante, closed for good in early July. “The pandemic is absolutely the reason we closed,” Blair Papagani, owner of Jimmy’s Diner, told Greenpointers. She and her husband also own Anella, which is currently still open for garden dining and takeout.
The local hub for all things herbal closed its Greenpoint shop on July 15, though the business still continues online. Owner Elizabeth DeCoursey posted a video on Instagram citing a contentious relationship with her neighbors (not Moonlight Mile) as a reason she broke her lease during this time.
This American bistro opened in 2013 with a swanky rustic design from co-owners the Haselgrave brothers, temporarily closed in March during the state’s pause and reopened in May with a reduced menu. The restaurant announced its permanent closure on Instagram in late July. “Its been a great run. Grateful for everyone that came in and made this place what it was.”
For 12 years, Adelina’s has been a neighborhood staple with their intimate wooded cozy vibe and natural wines served out of wine barrels. In recent years, they pivoted from traditional Italian dishes to solely focusing on plant-based & vegetarian pinsa romana style pizza. Owner Toby Buggiana said, “After 8 years of serving Greenpoint we unfortunately have to announce that we will be closing Adelina’s in exactly one month. We have absolutely loved being part of the #Greenpoint community and being able to do things in our own quirky way. Unfortunately, we have a landlord that is unwilling to budge on rent even though we are paying for an unused indoor space. There is a bus stop out front so we cannot put street side seating out and our storefront is relatively small meaning we can only put a few tables on the sidewalk… For our loyal customers: we love you all so much and we are sorry we have to close down. New places will always sprout up in the fertile soil that is NYC, as things disappear, new things will take their place.” Read his full message here.
After shutting down in March, Cherry Point announced in early April that they would not be reopening. The former location of a Polish butcher shop was lauded by critics for its excellent charcuteria program, and a popular after work spot for martinis and small bites. Cherry Point had never done takeout, and amidst the pandemic, owner Vince Mazeau decided closing the business would be best for his restaurant and staff. A relief fund to donate to former employees raised over $11,000.
The cornerside juice and smoothie spot closed quietly in March. The India Street shop was the perfect stop for a quick and cold drink before hopping on the East River Ferry.
The beloved Brooklyn outpost of the popular Lower East Side performance venue, dance club and karaoke bar closed this spring. “We’ve closed our doors and will be taking a much needed vacation,” Baby Grand posted on Facebook. “Thanks to everyone for your support over the last couple years. We hope to see you in a brand new setting once this whole pandemic thing blows over.”
Vittles’ tiny cafe at the corner of Calyer and Franklin was a staple for coffee and pastries for neighbors who passed by on the regular. The business closed quietly at the end of June.
This popular cocktail lounge opened in the former Shayz Lounge space in April 2019, quickly becoming a favorite after work and weekend spot for locals. Frozen drinks and spicy popcorn were part of the lure, as was an outdoor parklet come Spring 2020. Unfortunately, Magazine shut down in September 2020, with owners citing the financial toll of the pandemic as the reason the beloved bar couldn’t sustain itself.
After thirteen and a half years of memories and booze, The Diamond closed on Sunday, January 3, 2021. “It’s been a wild ride, Greenpoint, but I’m afraid we are at the end of it,” The Diamond announced via Instagram in mid-December. “The Diamond will be closing our yellow door at the beginning of January after thirteen and a half years in business. PLEASE bundle on up and come over for last goodbyes. ”