Mama’s Bites the Dust, But Who’s Really to Blame?

Mama no more.
Mama no more. Photo: Shanna Ravindra

After fifteen years of business, Jeremiah Clancy has closed Mama’s Food Shop in the East Village. In a statement to the Local, he says keeping the doors open became “too damn hard.” He explains, “We live in a city where the Health Department has far too much power, the cost of the permits, inspections, and maintenance are so high it is impossible for a Mom & Pop operation to keep up with.” But there’s a bigger issue …

The restaurant world is a popularity contest, and many could argue that the media is driving the bus. Clancy says bloggers have shown favoritism to other comfort-food joints in the neighborhood, hinting at a place with fried chicken “served to you by some hipster dude who has long hair and is 27 and has Steely Dan on the radio.” (Assuming he means Bobwhite or Jack’s Wife Freda.) But should hot spots be held responsible? Should we? Can the oldies-but-goodies and up-and-comers successfully coexist? [Local/NYT]