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04:00 in New York City Restaurants New 20:00?

when i remember where i was New York Times He tried to argue that New York had “turned into Los Angeles” due to the rise in local herb dispensaries, sound baths, and other phenomena occurring simultaneously in countless cities across the country and possibly worldwide outside of New York.

It was a Thursday and I was in bed, working, but not working because I had been out late the night before. Yet at least one brain cell survived the attack, and he was telling me: New York will never be Los Angeles. Because unlike West, New Yorkers keep eating until 4am and beyond.

New York was once the city that never sleeps. Before the pandemic quieted restaurants, some of the city’s most exciting meals were taking place around and after 4 a.m., when bars should make the last call: in the crowded basement of Wo Hop in Chinatown, unfinished borscht and cotton ball next to a bowl on Veselka’s counter. a tip, or in the dining room of Great NY Noodletown, where the hanging roast ducks shimmer in reflection of Ubers’ homecoming.

There is no shadow over Los Angeles. The product is better but restaurants serving it become less common after 2am.

Pubkey in Greenwich Village serves burgers and hot dogs until 3am.

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Until recently, these scenes and others like them seemed to be at risk of being casualties of the pandemic. In the last three years, most late-night restaurants have reduced their hours due to a handful of factors that make it impossible to stay open 24 hours without losing money: citywide staff shortages, less foot traffic, higher food costs, restrictions on indoor dining, etc.

Many have yet to replace them, including the aforementioned three Manhattan restaurants that close before midnight on weekends.

Recently, however, plates have begun to clatter at unexpected hours, as a new group of restaurants, mostly in lower Manhattan, are serving food well after Los Angeles’ bedtime. Bandits, a biennial cocktail bar in Greenwich Village, serves Greek salads and steaks Thursday through Sunday until 4am. Chicago dogs and New Jersey predators are on the menu until 3am at Pubkey a few blocks away.

A man wearing plaster tends to grill with skewers.

Munchiez, a subsidiary of Chinatown bakery Mei Lai wah, stays open until 3am on weekends.

Gen Korean BBQ House, a California-based chain that landed in Union Square earlier this month, is among the latest to arrive. The restaurant has more than 30 locations across the country and is open until 4am every day in Manhattan. After 2 p.m. on a Saturday night recently, there were about 40 people hovering over the tabletop grills in the dining room with over 40 communal tables.

The numbers don’t match, but restaurant owners are still testing the waters to see if they can make the new 4am 6pm – which was the new 8pm, Sam Yan, owner of the Dim Sum Palace, in Manhattan’s Chinatown in December. A small dim sum chain opened in the U.S. says the 200-seat restaurant welcomes around 30 to 40 customers, mostly locals, between midnight and 4am.

“During the pandemic, nearly all restaurants in Chinatown closed before 11 pm,” Yan says. “When we go to Chinatown to finish our work and relax after a long day, we can’t find a place to sit with our friends.” He says the restaurant’s late night is for locals and anyone who misses siu mai at 3am, the last call for dim sum.

A large banquet-style dining room with round tables and leather chairs is mostly empty.

The Dim Sum Palace was nearly empty at 3am, an hour before the listed closing times.

The Dim Sum Palace is kind of an anomaly in Manhattan’s Chinatown, a neighborhood that was once home to some of the city’s best after-hours restaurants but these days mostly closes until midnight. Earlier this month, Vic Lee of the local nonprofit Welcome to Chinatown said most of the property owners in the area are still not ready to return to pre-pandemic hours.

“What does it look like to keep our stores open later? Will this work because the margins are already so thin?” he asks. “Winter is definitely not the time to test this.”

Johnny Huynh, owner of Glizzy’s, a late-night hot dog bar in Williamsburg, is optimistic that warmer weather could turn the tide of the city’s late-night dining scene. Its bathroom-sized restaurant serves food Thursday through Saturday until 3am, but plans to stay open an hour later on those days of spring. Finally, it wants to be open until 4am, seven days a week.

“At 1 and 2 a.m. in mid-January, people are walking around with hot dogs,” Huynh says. Granted, they’re wearing a parka—another reason why New York was never Los Angeles.