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31 NYC Spots That Closed Forever In 2015

This is going to bum you out a lot unless you're a big fan of luxury high-rises and BMW dealerships.

1. FAO Schwarz, 767 5th Avenue in Midtown

Timothy A. Clary / AFP / Getty Images

This iconic New York shop, founded in 1862, was the oldest toy store in the United States. Its famous "Big Piano" was immortalized in the 1988 Tom Hanks movie Big, which came out not long after the store moved to its Fifth Avenue location across from The Plaza Hotel in 1986. The FAO Schwarz brand is currently owned by Toys "R" Us, and there are plans to open a new store in a neighborhood with more reasonable rent at some point in the future. But it just won't be the same, you know?

Andrew Burton / Getty Images

2. Winnie's Bar & Restaurant, 104 Bayard Street in Chinatown

Shawn Hoke / Via Flickr: shawnhoke

Winnie's, a small and fairly run-down dive bar in Chinatown, was a mecca for karaoke enthusiasts for 28 years. There are certainly nicer karaoke bars in New York, but few had the lived-in charm of Winnie's tiny stage and shaky backing tracks, many of which had to be played manually from vintage laser discs.

3. Trash and Vaudeville, 4 St. Marks Place in East Village

Tony Fischer / Via Flickr: tonythemisfit

This shop, which specialized in punk, goth, and glam clothing, was one of the most iconic businesses on St. Marks Place for four decades, and supplied clothing to stars like Blondie, The Ramones, and The Dead Boys in the glory days of New York punk. Store owner Ray Goodman is planning to reopen in a new location, but the St. Marks location was so essential to the identity of the shop that it's hard to imagine it being anywhere else. The building is now on sale for $11.9 million and is being marketed as "highly desirable" for student housing. You hear that, NYU?

4. Brazenhead Books, 235 East 84th Street on the Upper East Side

Brazenhead Books / Via

Brazenhead Books was essentially a literary speakeasy — a used bookstore illegally located in a rent-stabilized apartment on the Upper East Side that had to operate in secret, and was just as much a hangout for bookish types as it was a retail operation. The store's clientele found out about the shop – and its location – by word of mouth, and they could only shop there by appointment. The apartment shop closed at the end of July after being evicted by the landlord, but the owner, Michael Seidenberg, told The New Yorker that he intends to reopen it in some form.

5. Bergen Street Comics, 470 Bergen Street in Park Slope

Bergen Street Comics / Via

Bergen Street Comics was well-known as one of the coolest comics stores in the entire United States and built its reputation on catering to adult fans of indie comics and their cool young children. It was an extremely well-curated store, and went out of its way to be welcoming people who might feel out of place in a traditional comics shop. The store closed permanently in late September after seven years in the neighborhood, mainly because the owners decided to pursue other things, but they will continue to publish comics like Michael Fiffe's Copra.

6. Reciprocal Skateboards, 402 East 11th Street in East Village

Reciprocal Skateboards / Via Facebook: reciprocalskateboards

This independent skateboard shop was also a general hangout zone for skaters, with an extensive collection of vintage pinball games. "We are unfortunately completely out of resources to continue operating any further," store owner Jon Eastman wrote in an announcement on Facebook. "And by resources, I mean money."

7. Film Biz Recycling, 540 President Street in Gowanus

Reclaimed Home / Via Flickr: castleandkeep

Film Biz Recycling was a nonprofit thrift shop that sold props, wardrobe, furniture, and set materials from movies, television shows, advertisements, and theater productions in New York. According to Film Biz, the store diverted over 600 tons of materials from the NYC waste stream since 2008. The shop closed over the summer when Film Biz was unable to find enough money to continue operating a retail space in the city.

8. The Unicorn, 277 West 22nd Street in Chelsea

Jeremiah Moss / Via

The Unicorn, a boutique specializing in gay porn and sex toys, was a fixture in Chelsea for 21 years before closing in mid-February due to what the store's manager called a "huge rent increase." The Unicorn's brother store Les Hommes is still in business on the Upper West Side.

9. The Palm, 840 2nd Avenue in Midtown

Jtmichcock / Via

There may be over 30 locations of The Palm steakhouse around the world, but the original location on Second Avenue in Midtown closed its doors forever in late August after being in business since 1926. The steakhouse's co-owners sold the building for $6 million, and the restaurant's famous caricature-covered walls have been painted over.

10. Crazy Legs Skate Club, 110 Kosciuszko Street in Bedford-Stuyvesant

Crazy Legs Skate Club / Via

Crazy Legs Skate Club hosted weekly all-ages indoor roller-dance parties in the gymnasium of a Salvation Army center until it was closed this year after the administrator of the building decided to reserve the space exclusively for community-based programs for children.

11. Market Diner, 572 11th Avenue in Hell's Kitchen

Sideways / Via

The Market Diner was housed in one of the most distinctive buildings in all of Manhattan, with a zigzagging chrome overhang and inward sloping windows. The diner opened in 1962, and at various points was a haunt for a diverse range of New York City legends, including Frank Sinatra, Diane Keaton, Bette Midler, Geraldo Rivera, and Rudy Giuliani. Despite its unique place in the city's history and architectural landscape, the building will soon be demolished and a 13-story mixed-use building will be erected in its place. Because, of course, we need more of those.

12. The Community Bookstore, 212 Court Street in Cobble Hill

JMM / Via Flickr: workinpana

This Cobble Hill bookshop was a local fixture since the early '80s, and notorious for looking more like a cluttered, chaotic mess of books crammed into narrow aisles than a proper store. "I’ll be the first to admit I’m a bit of a hoarder," store owner John Scioli told the New York Times. "I was afraid I was going to die under a pile of books one of these days, and no one would ever find me." Scioli sold the building, where he also lives, for $5.5 million.

13. Sounds, 20 St. Marks Place in East Village

EV Grieve / Via

Sounds, the last remaining record store on St. Marks Place, closed permanently in September. The strip was previously home to several record shops, including Mondo Kim's, Venus Records, Norman's, Rockit Scientist, and Smash.

14. Avignone Chemists, 281 Avenue of the Americas in West Village

GT / Via

Avignone Chemist, which operated on Bleecker Street since 1929 and has existed in some form since 1832, making it the longest-running apothecary in the United States, closed at the end of April. The building was sold to the hedge fund Force Capital Management, which tripled the rent, forcing Avignone out of business.

15. Pearl River Mart, 477 Broadway in Chinatown

Gene Han / Via Flickr: larimdame

Pearl River Mart, the Chinese department store that has existed for 44 years and has been at 477 Broadway in Chinatown since 2003, is set to shut down at the end of 2015 thanks to a massive rent hike that would've forced the owners to pay over five times their already staggering $110,000-a-month rent. Pearl River Mart is considering its options in moving to a new location — this spot was its third location since 1971 — but in any case, will shift its business to mainly selling online.

16. Hogs & Heifers, 859 Washington Street in Meatpacking District

Stacey Huggins / Via Flickr: staceyhuggins

Hogs & Heifers had a split identity: a working-class dive on weekdays, and a rowdy honky-tonk tourist trap on weekends. The bar was beloved by celebrities including Brad Pitt, Paul McCartney, and Julia Roberts, was featured in many magazines, travel shows, and movies, and was the basis for the bar in the movie Coyote Ugly. The bar closed in August after the building's new landlords demanded a rent increase from $14,000 to $60,000.

17. Eagle Provisions, 628 5th Avenue in South Slope

Kip Voytek / Via Flickr: kipbot

The sign out in front of South Slope institution Eagle Provisions advertised "Epicurean Delights From Around the World" but mostly sold Polish sausages and craft beers. (Arguably, the greatest of all epicurean delights.) The Zawisny family owned and operated Eagle Provisions since 1979 but opted to close the shop and sell the building this year after deciding that they'd simply grown tired of running the business.

18. Brooklyn Night Bazaar, 165 Banker Street in Williamsburg

Rob Kim / Getty

Brooklyn Night Bazaar was almost too good to be true: a nighttime flea market, food court, and free concert venue that operated at the edge of Williamsburg near Greenpoint. The organizers of the Night Bazaar have held similar events at Riis Beach, though that was initially meant to be an expansion of the Bazaar rather than a replacement. The space has been sold to make room for a new BMW dealership.

19. Silver Monuments, 125 Stanton Street on the Lower East Side

Elie Z. Perler / Via

Silver Monuments was the last remaining tombstone business on the Lower East Side, which long ago had enough of them to be known as the city's monument district. The family-run business isn't closing — it's just relocating to Woodside, Queens — but the showroom was at this location on Stanton Street since the 1940s and remained there after its competitors closed, mainly because the Silvers own the building.

20. Art Cove, 60-09 Myrtle Avenue in Ridgewood

Yellowbot / Via

Art Cove provided arts and crafts supplies to Ridgewood for 44 years but closed at the end of November after posting a notice claiming that the rapidly gentrifying neighborhood "has become too fancy for Art Cove." Though the store has closed, the business still exists online.

21. Cameo, 83 North 6th Street in Williamsburg

Eric Groom / Via Flickr: egroom

Cameo Gallery, one of the last of a dying breed of small DIY venues in Williamsburg, shut down permanently at the end of November after its building was sold to a new landlord. The long-running venue, notable for its shiny streamers hung above its stage, ended its seven-year run with a series of shows featuring performances by The Juan Maclean, Chairlift, Mr. Twin Sister, and Wet.

22. The Dove Parlour, 228 Thompson Street in West Village

Dove Parlour / Via Facebook: 116229331734736

The Dove Parlour, a West Village cocktail bar known for its gorgeous vintage interior design, closed in April after 11 years in business. According to the owners, the bar shut down due to "the unfortunately familiar story of a big corporation raising the rent to an unaffordable amount for a small business."

23. Louis Shoe Rebuilders, 25 West 33rd Street in Koreatown

Jeremiah Moss / Via

Louis Shoe Rebuilders closed in May after 94 years in business, the last 84 of which were spent on the ground floor of the Empire State Building. (The business moved in shortly after the iconic skyscraper opened in 1931.) The shop's owner, Beatrice Barbieri, told Vanishing New York that it was not having its lease renewed, and that Empire State Realty Trust "wanted $25,000 and nobody can pay that on shoe repair." The Trust is aiming to draw more tech companies and rebrand itself as a "premier urban campus" for "Silicon Alley."

24. Caffé Dante, 79-81 Macdougal Street in Greenwich Village

DotPolka / Via Flickr: dotpolka

Caffé Dante, a Greenwich Village institution for a century, closed in March after the business was sold to an Australian group that plans on turning it into a small-plates restaurant with a raw bar despite initial claims that they would leave the café largely unchanged.

25. Tribeca Cinemas, 54 Varick Street in Tribeca

Jeremiah Moss / Via

Tribeca Cinemas, home to the Tribeca Film Festival for many years, closed in June after Tribeca Enterprises put the building up for sale. According to the New York Post, the building — which also hosts office and residential spaces — could sell for over $120 million.

26. Tandem, 236 Troutman Street in Bushwick

Tandem / Via

Tandem, arguably the first "hipster" bar in Bushwick, shut down in November after seven years in business. Bar co-owner Jane Virga told Bushwick Daily that they decided to close it because she's expecting a third child and wants to focus her energy on her ceramics studio.

27. La Taza de Oro, 96 8th Avenue in Chelsea

Dan DeLuca / Via Flickr: dandeluca

This small Puerto Rican luncheonette, known for its mofongo, tostones, and cafe con leche, closed permanently after 68 years in business. The business was barely open in the past year after issues with Con Ed and was closed in September by the NYC Department of Health.

28. Pacha, 618 West 46th Street in Hell's Kitchen

Noam Galai / Getty Images

Pacha, a popular EDM nightclub, will close permanently after a run of New Year's festivities in the beginning of January. The club, which was one of the most celebrated dance clubs in the United States, hosted pretty much every major EDM DJ over the course of its decade in Hell's Kitchen.

29. Café Pick Me Up, 145 Avenue A in East Village

Phillip Kalantzis Cope / Via Flickr: kalantziscope

Café Pick Me Up was an East Village mainstay for over 20 years but closed at the end of May after a huge rent hike was imposed on the owners by the landlord. Aside from the rent increase, the owners had other troubles with the landlord, including an issue involving flooding from a sewer backup.

30. Trash Bar, 256 Grand Street in Williamsburg

Otto Yamamoto / Via Flickr: otto-yamamoto

Trash Bar, a grimy dive that hosted many live bands and was one of the best karaoke spots in Brooklyn, shut down in late June after nearly a decade in Williamsburg. The venue closed as a result of the landlord quadrupling the rent, and the owners are looking into reopening somewhere else in north Brooklyn.

31. The Family Jewels, 130 West 23rd Street in Chelsea

Jeremiah Moss / Via

This vintage shop was a Chelsea fixture for 34 years until it shut down in April. If you've made it this deep into this post, it should come as no big surprise that it closed as a result of the landlord hiking the rent, and its owners are shifting their focus to selling their stock on Etsy.

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