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Shopsin's Closed for Good?

I saw today in Gridskipper that Shopsin's, the West Village institution, might be closed for good. According to the story:

"Rent and stress have finally caught up to the family. "The place is too large," Melinda was heard complaining, "too stressful. It is ridiculous anyone has to wait an hour for brunch." On her last brunch shift, she didn't want to be unduly stressed, hence the hordes at the door and the regulars inside the semi-empty restaurant."

It also says they may open a stand in the Essex market, but that it probably won't approach the scale or scope of their current legendary menu.

The full story's here:


Thoughts? I personally never got to eat there, and while some people swear by Kenny Shopsin's food, others never understood (even after having a meal there) what all the hype was about.

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  1. strange... I ate there once last year. I thought it was a little more interesting than diner food with an overwhelming menu. I certainly would not wait outside to get in.

    1. I actually was part of a group that ate there yesterday (and people behind us were turned away). Lovely meal. I really liked the Shopsins and their place. This story still might be a hoax. The last time they were "closing" it was because Kenny or Melinda mischieviously confirmed a bullshit question some reporter asked him.

      We had no indication it was a last anything, though they were preparing for a party that night. And Patti Smith was there. And I left with a very full and happy belly, as usual.


      1. I've never tried Shopsin's (my brunch group has too many people), but I wonder if it might not be less "stressful" if they consolidated the menu a little...

        1 Reply
        1. re: piccola

          Plus longer store hours and not locking the doors on paying customers might help their rent tremendously.

        2. I would be very sad to see Shopsins close. There are many who criticize Kenny and family for their antics and eccentricities, but I have personally never felt as at home in a restaurant as I have in theirs. I'm just so glad that I was there recently to have one final order of "Blisters on my Sister."

          Whatever Kenny does, even if it's a sandwich counter in the Essex St. Market, (I personally think he should create a soup empire by the way), I will follow him there for his prolific and mad scientist-like culinary chops.

          1. I just moved in right around the corner, and was trying to become a regular as I love going in ordering sweet chipotle pancakes and playing connect 4.

            My roommates and I would be quite upset if they really were closing. I didn't even get a chance to try the french fries and cheese pancakes!

            1. It's no hoax-- we got an email from Kenny today and posted most of it. Looks like it really is the LES for the Shopsin clan.


              NYCnosh* http://nycnosh.com

              1. I went ahead and cried myself to sleep last night over this one. I'm trying to get my hands on the documentary, but it’s not available on DVD yet. I heard it was great!

                1 Reply
                1. re: bocce

                  I saw it a few months ago -- it was made on the cheap by a single guy. If you can forgive some of the technical stuff (mics in frame, shaky camera hands, the occasional video quality issues) I think you'll like it a lot.

                  Most of it was filmed in the old space while Eve was still alive and you get an amazing sense of history and Kenny's personality and philosophy on life.

                2. When are they closing?

                    1. *sigh* When we arrived on that Saturday, the door was locked, but one of them came around to let us in for breakfast. When we asked Melinda what was with the locked door, she told us the sad news. Shopsin's has been my favorite restaurant, bar none, and I will sadly miss the wonderful food and family.

                      1. so are they officially closed now? or did they just announce their future closure? (if it's the latter, what's the date??)

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: piccola

                          It closed on the 17th of December.

                          From the Times article:

                          "But the closing of the cafe, Shopsin's, at 54 Carmine Street, rumored for months, came to pass on Sunday. And early next year he will move to the Lower East Side with what he says is about a tenth of the toys, games and trinkets that cluttered the restaurant."

                        2. I actually watched the waitstaff (which I believe is Kenny's children) loading up their van with all the games and crazy crap that used to live in the store. This was last week, so by now I assume it's all gone...