Gray’s Papaya in Greenwich Village shut down without warning on Wednesday. Passersby saw construction workers dismantling the restaurant: taking down the sign, removing fixtures from the interior and packing up a truck to move out, reports Eater NY. Now, only one Gray’s Papaya remains on the Upper West Side.
Owner Nicholas Gray told the Village Voice that he had to shut down the famous hot dog stand after 28 years of business because the landlord increased the rent by 66.7 percent. He said, “They wanted to raise my rent to $50,000 from $30,000. We’re always looking for corners, but they’re hard to find.” Gray added that he is looking for another space and is hopeful about opening another Gray’s Papaya.
The Greenwich Village location on Sixth Avenue was a popular post-drinking spot for late night revelers looking for a cheap bite. The recession special costed just $4.45 for two hot dogs and a drink, and the fast food restaurant offered student discounts as well.
New Yorkers took to Twitter to bemoan the loss of the iconic hot dog joint.