06 July 2010

Seaport Restaurant Carmine's Closes After 107 Years



I said when I discontinued Lost City a couple weeks ago that I might occasionally post when a significant New York landmark fell. The closing of Carmine's, the oldest restaurant in the South Street Seaport district, seems to merit a mention.

It closed on June 30, after 107 years in business. The landlord wanted more money. Same old story.

Carmine's at the Seaport, located on Beekman Street, was one of the few remnants left of the old, rough, Fulton Fish Market seaport, the streets that Joseph Mitchell walked in his day. I ate there a couple times. The food was standard red-sauce stuff. The decor was priceless, a dusty nautical theme, wooden bar, wooden booths, falling apart. It had its regulars and its lifer waitresses. I remember reading an article about the gruff, big-hearted owner, who would lend money to his employees when they needed it and drive them home. It had a soul and a life. I had planned to make it a "Who Goes There?" subject this summer. No more.

11 comments:

EV Grieve said...

Ugh. This one really hurts. I had planned on an appreciation piece on Carmine's some slow summer day..... sigh...

Goggla said...

A real shame. What a loss.

Jeremiah Moss said...

i only went there once, and i loved it. very sad news.

Anonymous said...

I eat here at least once a month. LOVE the place, the waitresses who would smile sincerely with their black dresses and the guy behind the bar watching television. This is a sad loss for the neighborhood. PLus it was the only place I good get Pasta with olive oil and sardines near my house.

BabyDave said...

It is a shame about Carmine's, but it is fantastic to see you back and posting.

Perhaps in the future your readers might put our heads together and figure out some preemptive strikes to stop the demise of classic establishments.

Ken Mac said...

they had a terrific seafood salad

Bryan Swirsky said...

sad news! i was just there with my wife and child two weeks ago and chowed heartily. in the mid 80s, i worked in the south street seaport - 1st as a busboy at the fulton steamer and a then as a bar tender and short order cook at the front street restaurant. carmine's was a regular, after-work hang, where i would drink next to cops, locals, tourists and off-duty dockworkers. irene, the waitress was there years before i arrived in 85 and she was still working there two weeks ago - still with a smile on her face and a graceful as a ballerina in that crammed space. wtf, nyc! cleveland is more interesting than you!

Anonymous said...

Carmine;s lives! It will open again in the Autumn down the block at 229 Front Street! I am told that even the old bar will be there! I can hardly wait! Miss it so much, the singalong on Fridays to old Dean Martin songs, the people, the food!

Ail Carter said...

I remember gazing at my new love (one day to be husband) over a plate of calamari there. Also the night John, the barman, served us a drink after big Geo won the election...we cried in our drinks. We always spilled out onto the sidewalk reeking of garlic. Such a shame. Greedy bastard.

Tom S. said...

I was happy to read that Carmine's is reopening down the street in the fall. I wonder if they'll still have the plaque that says "Lou's Corner" ??? They had the best soft shell crabs in New York !!

Tony Destroni said...

it so sad to hear . but why is it when i check my paginas amarillas the restaurants information is still on the book id better check for new updates!