It's not just Union Square Café that's throwing in the towel downtown: The ill-fated neighborhood branch of T.G.I. Fridays, which is one of several in NYC but the only one to currently rock a solid C Health Department grade in its front window, will close within the next few weeks. "Union Square is so hot down there these days with real quality restaurants it just doesn't compete well," says restaurateur Dennis Riese, who adds that the chain may retreat to Murray Hill, where the Riese-owned Fatburger is thriving and T.G.I. Fridays may reopen as a "smaller" 6,000-square-foot restaurant. But it turns out the Union Square chain's festive twice-fried potato skins are not the only ones that are about to shed.
The restaurant, which recently launched a deal in which customers who stuck to one kind of appetizer (boneless chicken wings, spinach dip) became eligible to receive additional orders of said appetizer, forever and ever in perpetuity, will also close its 47 East 42nd Street location. That one does have a nearly uninterrupted string of overwhelmingly negative Yelp reviews, but it seems as though new construction is forcing the shutter.* While its myriad "artifacts, stained glass, neon beer signs, tiffany type lamps, animal heads," and more will go up for auction on Sunday, this T.G.I. Fridays is not going out without a party.
Reached by phone, an employee at the Bryant Park-area restaurant confirmed Thursday is its last day in business, but the cocktails and snacks will continue after dinner service. "We'll go all the way until midnight," he said.
Last Call Nears at TGI Fridays Union Square [Commercial Observer]
Related: TGI Fridays Endless Appetizers Foists Nonstop Calorie Gauntlet on Customers
*This post has been updated with new information.