DOH Declares Times Restaurant “Imminently Perilous”
It is with a heavy heart that I report that the endearingly eccentric Times Restaurant has finally shuttered, for what appears to be for good. Walking by, I noticed a court order signed on 6/2/2011 commanding that the space be shutdown, with an ominous warning, “The department of buildings has determined that conditions in this premises are imminently perilous to life. Violators of this commissioner’s vacate order are subject to arrest.”
I’ll dearly miss this place, not that I’ve ever had the courage to actually eat there, but because they’ve always been a source of fun, slapstick content whenever we noticed another misguided effort to stay in business or another DOH smackdown. As we say farewell to the Times Restaurant, we’ve assembled a timeline of our favorite memories of the life and times of this restaurant after the jump.
February 2008 – The Times restaurant, (fka Kashmir Express) is discovered by Zach Brooks. At that time, they were offering an 24 hour, AYCE Indian buffet for $9.95, or a take-out by-the-pound option for only $4.99/lb.
December 2008 – The downstairs buffet is re-named “Cave Lounge”, and the buffet is replaced by a pool table and some funky looking decor.
May 2009 – They lower the buffet price to $7.95, prompting Zach Brooks to pay a visit for lunch, where he finds the food to actually be pretty good, although the service is terrible and the experience itself to be a little scary. I’m happy to report that 2 years after this lunch, Zach is still alive and (somewhat) well.
November 2009 – Kashmir, perhaps hoping to class up their image, looks to the Grey Lady for inspiration, and changes their name to “Times”. They even complete the re-branding by copying the New York Times font, which of course leads to…
May 2010 – … a cease and desist letter from the New York Times Company.
March 2011 – Jeremiah discovers that The Times restaurant has swapped its Indian menu for Mexican food. Perhaps hoping to draw in customers from the neighboring peep shows and adult stores along 8th ave, they also attempt to lure customers in with racy advertising, asking potential punters to, “Come meet the sexiest girls in New York”.
June 2011 – The Times restaurant is shut down, perhaps for good, by court order.
Although this isn’t the first time they’ve closed, after all of those DOH warnings, it seems like they’ve been boiling the frog all this time, and the court order may be the final death blow. I’ll certainly miss hearing about The Times restaurant, but we shouldn’t be sad, for we should remember their zany hijinks and utter disregard for DOH rules with fondness. And with that, we say a bittersweet hasta luego to the Times Restaurant.