Three years ago, when Dunkin Donuts opened on Cooper Square, we wondered how long its neighbor, Cafe Zaiya, could last. “Dunkin’ Has Done Its Plunkin’ and Our Spirits Are Sunken” was the oh-so-clever headline. Well, now our spirits are truly squashed, because Cafe Zaiya, that haven of cheap eats, is gone. The Japanese bakery and cafe was closed by the health department at the end of last month after racking up 73 violation points, and an employee at Zaiya’s midtown location tells us the East Village outpost is closed for good.
Sure, you can get similar French-Japanese treats over at Panya, but we’ll likely never taste a “cheese dome” again. The cheese dome was a sort of Buckminster Full-of-Cheese creation consisting of sweet cheese inside of a baked bun. It was awesome. As was the tuna melt inside of a bun. And the iced coffee float. My god, the iced coffee float. How will we survive summer without it?
The April 30 health inspection resulted in points issued for food temperature and plumbing/sewage issues. The closing follows in the wake of other Little Tokyo shakeups: long-standing hairdresser Hoshi Coupe relocated to Chelsea in February and Robataya NY closed at the beginning of the year, meaning no more barefoot chefs serving sushi on paddles.