Midtown’s Famous Oyster Bar to Close After Service Tonight

The restaurant has been open since 1959
Dan Myers

The restaurant is closing due to a rent increase.

One of the oldest holdouts on the stretch of Seventh Avenue between Times Square and Central Park, The Famous Oyster Bar, will be closing after service tonight, according to a notice posted in their doorway. [related]

“This restaurant has been here since 1959 and will be closing at the end of the weekend due to exorbitant rent prices,” it reads. “It has been a pleasure serving N.Y.C. for over 55 years.”

The medium-size restaurant, on the corner of 54th and 7th, is perhaps best known for its amazing neon signage, a little bit of old-school New York in a neighborhood that’s about as new-school (and touristy) as possible. While an employee was able to confirm for us that a rent increase is the reason behind the closure, she was unaware of the specific amount that the rent had been increased.

It seems as if there’s no limit to the amount that landlords raise rents to in this neighborhood; in August 2012 64-year-old music store Colony was forced out after the rent spiked to a whopping $5 million per month, and the legendary Stage Deli, which was less than a block away, closed in November 2012 due to a rent increase as well and is now home to a tourist-friendly bar.

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They’ll be closing after service, at “about 9 or 10 tonight,” according to the employee. No word on the fate of the neon.