This is a hard one to swallow.
Gray’s Papaya has shuttered its Sixth Avenue store. After a tipster saw the hot doggery being dismantled, Eater confirmed the closure with an employee at the uptown location who “was unsure if it was done for good, or just shuttered for a revamp.”
We managed to get in touch with Romy Villanueva, the general manager at Gray’s, who made it sound like a done deal. “I heard we were closing for good, but I don’t know the details,” said this polite New Yorker, adding that a rent hike was to blame and his boss, Nicholas Gray, is looking for a new location. We’ve left a message for Mr. Gray and will let you know what we hear.
The store’s closure came suddenly, to be sure, but there were warning signs: the price hikes, for instance. And then the place started serving pizza. Sure, the slice was better than the one at 99-Cents Fresh Pizza a block over, but something about Gray’s slinging slices felt very, very wrong. To add insult to injury, Gray’s imposter Papaya Dog lives on, just blocks away.
We’ve still got the East Village location of Papaya King, but we’re not setting foot in there till they take down that sign misinforming everyone that a Rolling Stones cover was shot on St. Marks.
Which leaves us with no choice but to shed a salty tear.