November 27, 2020

Grand Central Oyster Bar Temporarily Closes Less Than Two Weeks After Opening



a group of people standing in front of a building


© Nick Solares/Eater


Grand Central Oyster Bar temporarily closes again, citing downturn in business

Less than two weeks after opening its doors for indoor dining service, Grand Central Oyster Bar will temporarily close once more. In a post to Facebook over the weekend, the iconic 107-year-old restaurant announced that it had no choice but to close again, citing a “lack of traffic and business implicitly caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Grand Central Oyster Bar reopened on September 30 for takeout and indoor dining service following nearly a seven-month temporary closure. Despite initial excitement about the comeback, the restaurant hasn’t been able to justify the cost of reopening, given lower foot traffic at Grand Central Terminal from tourists and commuters, according to a spokesperson for the restaurant.

Restaurants and bars across the city have been devastated by the pandemic, and rent in particular has been a sticking point. In August, close to 90 percent of restaurants could not pay full rent and those unable to reopen for outdoor dining service — like the Grand Central Oyster bar — were among the hardest hit. To address some of those concerns, the MTA reportedly has a plan in the works to restructure how it collects rent from its tenants.

Grand Central Oyster Bar first opened its doors in 1913, the same year that construction finished at Grand Central Terminal. More than a century later, an individual oyster may cost more than an all-you-can-eat oyster buffet at that time, but the iconic seafood remains one of the city’s best sources for fresh seafood. There is currently no time frame for the restaurant’s reopening, according to a spokesperson for the restaurant.

In other news

— While Queens Night Market has officially canceled its season due to the pandemic this year, its Rockefeller Center outpost, on the South Plaza between 48th and 49th Streets and Fifth and Sixth Avenues, is launching tomorrow with six vendors and will run through November.

— More than six years after closing its doors, industry favorite Inoteca has reopened as a pop-up restaurant in Clinton Hill. Inoteca To Go is currently open for takeout and delivery on Wednesdays, with preordering available through the restaurant’s website.

— Kindred in the East Village is hosting a festival dedicated to orange wine. Tickets to the November 1 event include two 16-ounce pours of orange wine, vegetarian dishes, and heat lamps for outdoor sipping.

— An adapted version of restaurant week will continue in Sunnyside this year. In all, 46 restaurants are participating in the event, which will include takeout and delivery deals, as well.

— The Freehold in Williamsburg launched a pizza menu earlier in the pandemic, which pays homage to the thin and crispy pies of New Jersey and New Haven, Connecticut.

— Small Axe Peppers, a hot sauce company that sources its peppers from community gardens in the city, has released a new sauce in partnership with local indie pop group AJR.

— A new sandwich shop tucked under the Manhattan bridge is serving lasagna, matzoh ball soup, and Philadelphia-style pastrami sandwiches.

— Frenchette is extending its pop-up at the Rockefeller Center ice rink through October 30.

— Post in the East Village is moving to an expanded and undisclosed new location.

— Me trying to crush my email inbox after a three-day weekend:

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