Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Outer Boroughs >
Jan 26, 2008 08:08 PM

Second St. Cafe: Shuttering or ?

Noted paper covering the windows of the Second St. Cafe today and a few passersby saying it had closed? Truth or fiction?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. definitely closed, heard it from one of the owners

    4 Replies
    1. re: sadarami

      Wow...and they just recently renovated the place. Bummer, but I had noticed a drop in quality over the past few recent years.

      1. re: elecsheep9

        if this is true, that would be insane since they just renovated.

        i was never a huge fan but it was a solid casual joint at times. horrible crowd though.

        1. re: sam1

          not my kind of place but they were one of the older restaurants on that strip - Id chance the view that their rent went up.

      2. re: sadarami

        Sad to hear. Very nice, hard working people, and an institution in PS, albeit not a foodie destination. I also heard from the owner that his lease had recently gotten renewed. Strange story, indeed.

      3. Good Riddance. Another candidate for Gordon Ramsey bites the dust.

        8 Replies
        1. re: josh L

          josh...harsh words. It may not have been your favorite, but it was kid-friendly, had a decent prix-fixe, apparently a good brunch, etc. I ate there less than once a year, but I don't understand the "good riddance." There are hard-working people in the restaurant business who invest lots of their time and money without tremendous financial rewards. 2nd Ave. Cafe was there for 10 years...longer than most PS restaurants. I think they were the victims of greedy landlords (just look at how many other shuttered businesses there are on Seventh Ave. between 2nd and 3rd: Tempo Presto, the bookstore, etc.).

          1. re: famdoc

            im with wasnt amazing but it wasnt the worst by any stretch...solid burger and brunch options especially when i lived a block away on 8th ave.

            what i dont get is why did they renovate? shouldnt they have had some inkling that their business was in jeopardy?

            1. re: sam1

              lookit, this is Chowhound you have to expect some passion about food.
              this was a useful neighborhood utility place, right, but no more. We can always hope that something better will open there.

              1. re: jen kalb

                thanks jen. we can always hope, right?

              2. re: sam1

                I second famdoc's kinder, gentler approach. The only time I ate there it was better than anticipated. But I too don't understand why a business would invest in renovating without knowing they are secure for several years. Maybe it wasn't about a rent increase. For example, perhaps they were offered a good price for their lease. Perhaps some day we'll know.

                1. re: acemdin

                  At least one Brooklyn-based blog said the renovation was done to move the entrance further from 321...something having to do with serving alcohol too close to a school.

                  While I suggested the closure had something to do with rent, it may be something more ominous: sudden restaurant closures often have more to do with conflicts between owners, unusual debt, shady deals, etc.

                  1. re: famdoc

                    i know that they recently signed a long new lease which is another reason for the renovation so it's odd why they just closed. i think it might be more about taxes or something. sad because they were hard working owners.

              3. re: famdoc

                While I am no fan of greedy landlords, I will not mourn the closing of the 2nd street cafe which churned out mediocre to terrible food for ten years plus. The owners should have invested in a decent chef. That location is a gold mine.

            2. The new Brooklyn Paper quotes one of the former owners attributing the closing to declining business and, yes, higher rent.


              1. five or six years ago, my husband and i ate brunch there every weekend. pancakes were great, and there was a cute busser that i had a mild crush on. the last few times we went, we walked out because we sat for 7-8 minutes (long time, in restaurant terms) waiting for someone to ask us if we wanted a cup of coffee while we watched (and listened to) hordes of overprivileged park slope children run amok. i'm a fan of purity diner for breakfast now.