One of Chinatown’s oldest businesses, Fong Inn Too, shuttered over the weekend after 82 years in business. It was thought to be the oldest family-run tofu shop in the country. Opened in 1933 by a Guangzhou immigrant, Geu Yee Eng, the Mott Street shop grew into a factory churning out about 10,000 squares of tofu per day. Still, in 2011, third-generation owner David Eng told WNYC that business was “terribly slow,” and lamented that the family’s fourth generation had no interest in taking it over.
OK, we’re almost in the clear for anything New Year’s Eve-related. But before we hurdle head-first into 2017, there’s one more place we lost over the holiday weekend that’s worth pouring one out for: a Williamsburg bar called Daddy’s.
Another venue spent New Year’s Eve saying their last goodbyes to regulars and anyone else with a drink in their hand. For the last few years, Cake Shop was running on borrowed time. Back in 2012, when the gritty bitty Lower East Side venue’s Ludlow Street neighbor, The Living Room, closed up shop after more than 15 years in business, it seemed like it was only a matter of time.
Last year was a rough one for cultural spaces of all kinds in New York City, so it was somewhat fitting (if not totally sad) that a slew of local spots said their peace-outs during New Year’s Eve festivities. Among the departing establishments that went out with a bang on one of the drunkest night of the year was Over the Eight, a Williamsburg bar which closed up shop after “three and a half years” of “slinging cheap drinks and treasured times” (as we heard back in November when the owners first announced their departure).
On Saturday, two neighborhood long-timers quietly said goodbye. In Greenpoint, the Palace Cafe, which had officially closed Sept. 3 after 60 years in business, held one last goodbye party. Meanwhile, in the East Village, Edge Bar turned off its neon “SLEEP LATE” sign after 29 years on East 3rd Street. In what was surely a somber bar crawl, photographer Nick McManus went to both to take some Parting Shots for us.
The East Village has lost another art store. Photographer Nick McManus was there Friday as New York Central Art Supply shut its doors after 111 years on Third Avenue.
After just four and a half years on Grand Street, Williamburg venue the Grand Victory closed its doors last night, finishing things out with a hardcore matinee during the day and a nighttime show to say “Bon Voyage” to the space. The first show was headlined by local punks Subzero, after which several DJs and surprise guests played one last show that lasted into the first couple hours of Monday. That last show was closed out by Andy Animal and his band STALKERS, who were also playing their final show as a band.
Lower East Side music shop Ludlow Guitars had its last day earlier this week, ending its 17-year run on the street that gave it its name. As the shop’s owner, Kaan Howell, busily packed the place up in preparation for its decamp to Brooklyn, he took some time to get a couple final polaroids in the old shop—presumably the last before it inevitably turns into a fusion restaurant/hotel/dog therapist.
It was clear from the get-go things were gonna be seriously crazy at The Acheron’s very last show on Saturday night, what with another stellar lineup of metal bands to follow the previous night’s “last punk gig”– neither of which could have been cast better for the punk and metal venue’s farewell. For the last six years, the place had called East Williamsburg home, and while the body has died, the soul will live on as a “production company.”
Bushwick lost one of its pioneering restaurants over the weekend when Northeast Kingdom closed after more than 10 years off of the Jefferson stop. (Yes, Virginia, it opened way before there was a “Jefftown.”) In a goodbye message, owners Paris Smeraldo and Meg Lipke explained that they hoped to devote more time and energy to their children and their upstate farm and home (Lipke, a visual artist, will continue working from her Bushwick studio).
Goodbye signs in the papered-up windows of Pearl River Mart indicated this was the iconic store’s last week in Soho, but gave no exact closing date. Turns out, Tuesday was its last day after 13 years on Broadway. Owner Ching Yeh Chen’s announcement that the massive store would close early, at 5 p.m., came in the same tone I’d heard at previous closing times there. After the last customers left and the doors were locked, the staff, clad in uniform denim vests, joined her and her husband, Ming Yi, for a group portrait.