Patrons and staff gathered at Sway to bid bye bye as the downtown bar passed on to the next world, joining its brethren in depraved bar heaven. Group portrait artist Nick McManus was on hand to capture the mournful revelry of Sway’s last night on earth with instant snapshots from The Impossible Project, á la a young Ryan McGinley at Lit Lounge (RIP).
I first met Jify Shah back in 2014 when things were looking up for the owner of Cameo Gallery, a venue that became a mainstay in the Williamsburg music scene after it opened in 2009 on North 6th Sreet. It was the beginning of the summer and he’d just opened a restaurant featuring tropical cocktails named for figures in the Brooklyn music scene (“Losing My Edge,” with jalapeño-infused vodka) and food inspired by the stuff he ate as a kid growing up in Curaçao, a small island in the Caribbean.
Only a year later, rumors surfaced about the future of Cameo, which had quickly become one of the last remaining DIY institutions in the area. At first, Jify was hard to reach and clearly unwilling to talk about what was really going on. I was hoping his silence indicated Cameo would remain open for a little bit longer before Williamsburg is entirely overtaken by shadowy LLCs and glittering towers. No such luck. “I never thought it would’ve become what it did,” Jify told us.
Cheap-eats lovers, get ready to cry into your napkins: Carrera’s, a small Mexican restaurant located off the Morgan L in Bushwick, may be taking a dirt siesta.
The consistently affordable prices at Carrera’s were a welcome comfort in the midst of a neighborhood that seems to be getting pricier by the day. Chips and salsa were free, chips and guac were $5, and their generously portioned entrees typically ran in the $7 to $11 range.
When Lit Lounge’s co-owner Erik Foss announced a month ago that the East Village institution would close after 13 years, we thought the place would have at least a few more wild nights in store if not the goodbye party of the decade. But after a particularly unseemly incident (even for Lit) a couple of weeks ago, the bar unceremoniously shuttered without so much as a nod and a “later, guys.”
Well, this is a bummer. One of our favorite Spanish spots, La Churreria, has called it a day. Just a month after we got all excited about a menu makeover that brought churro cups into the mix, the three-year-old sister restaurant of neighboring Socarrat has “closed for renovations,” per a Facebook message. But don’t get it twisted, heart-shaped churro fans: the Nolita cafe isn’t coming back. An inquiry reveals the ownership will be “launching a new concept,” with details coming soon.
You may have been shocked to see David Letterman’s entire set hauled into a dumpster the day after his final episode aired, but it came as no surprise to Eva Radke. During her 15 years in the film and television industry, she saw plenty of perfectly good stage materials thrown into the trash heap.
Just a couple months after Trash Bar (albeit a fictitious version of it) was called a “New York landmark” on network television, the Williamsburg dive has finally announced its closing date. Here’s the Facebook message that was posted over the weekend.
On Tuesday, Matt Nelson and Jacob Perkins, founders of Bushwick independent library and reading room Mellow Pages, announced on Facebook that their literary hangout, in its current form at least, will cease to exist at the end of the month. They’re making like many writers before them and saying later gator to New York City.
From April 17 to May 18, there’ll be no late-night or weekend L train service between Lorimer Street and Eighth Avenue, which is very, very bad news. And if you’re the type to cope with bad news by wolfing cruddy fast-food sandwiches, there’s worse news still: Williamsburg is not only losing subway service, it has also lost two of its Subway sandwich locations. Branches at 209 Bedford Avenue and 717 Grand Street have shuttered.
For better or worse, that doesn’t leave Williamsburg completely without Subways. For starters, there’s one further down Grand, on Bushwick Avenue. But if it’s a sando near the Grand Street stop you desire, how bout trying a Down by Law-themed one at this newcomer instead? We’ll take Jarmusch over Jared any day.
The Norbert’s Pizza flagship, at the corner of Myrtle Avenue and Charles Place, will be closing its graffitied grates for good next week. According to an employee, a new landlord has purchased the building and is sending them packing. No word yet on what’s moving in.
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La Nonna isn’t the only Williamsburger that’s closing its original location. Jane is closing the North 6th Street location it opened as a pop-up in 2010 and moving over to its two-year-old store on Grand Street.
Manager Katie Brainer pointed to a shift in demographic similar to the one the owner of Lavai Maria observed when that store moved to Greenpoint in November. “With all the bigger retailers moving in – J. Crew, Urban Outfitters, American Apparel — a lot of the smaller stores that were here when we first opened up, stores that we grew with, have closed,” said Brainer. “Which is kind of sad.” (Let’s not forget Madewell, which opened down the block in October.)
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Less than a couple of years after it was featured in Gothamist’s “Still Got It” column celebrating eateries that “continue to serve mouthwatering meals and drinks long after the buzz has faded,” La Nonna ain’t got it no more. We’re talking about the trattoria’s Bedford Avenue location, which opened in 2006 and closed this week.
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