Earlier we noticed late-night tumbleweeds at Schillers, and now we see Morandi is closing an hour early, at 11 p.m., on weekdays until April 15, when it returns to its usual 5:30 p.m. till midnight hours. Over in Soho, Bun (which had originally hoped to open 247) is now closing at midnight rather than at 4 a.m. Not exactly a surprise that they couldnt draw enough diners to cover operating expenses, but it begs the question where the hell are the good people of New York round midnight?
Even on Super Bowl Sunday a relatively warm 43 degree evening the city (yes, even Murray Hill) was a ghost town after the witching hour. A bartender at Wilfie & Nell, one of the few places that have been lucky enough to be bustling during late weekday hours (its kitchen is open till 2 a.m. and it has an irresistible hot cider), told us that his business had dropped off in recent weeks. This month, the bar closes an hour early, at 3 a.m. Well resist asking whether certain city officials are winning their battle to turn the city that never sleeps into a 2 a.m. town, since night owls will no doubt be strapping on their stilettos come spring. But it has to be asked: Have New Yorkers always been such fair-weather insomniacs, or are the streets particularly deserted this winter?