Indian restaurateur Manjit Singh’s Jackson Diner has vamoosed out of 72 University Place in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village.
An old-timer on 74th St Jackson Heights, Jackson Diner opened the Manhattan outpost in 2010 in hopes of exploiting, and expanding, its curry fame beyond Queens.
The Queens locations had earned much renown and much press attracting famous Indian food fans like Hillary Clinton and Harrison Ford among others.
Alas, the Manhattan outpost of Jackson Diner never achieved the fame and repute of its Jackson Heights sibling.
During a visit to Jackson Diner in University Place a few years back, we found both the food and service lacking.
So why did Manjit Singh pull down the shutters on Jackson Diner?
Media reports say Singh decided against renewing his lease after it expired earlier this month. Apparently, Singh expected the rent ($25,000/month) to go up.
If you ask us, we think the University Place location is jinxed for Indian restaurants.
Before Jackson Diner, one time high-flying Indian restaurant chain Cafe Spice had a presence at the same spot for a few years but failed.
Jackson Heights Location
Even Jackson Diner’s Jackson Heights location in Queens no longer enjoys the cachet it once did.
Jackson Diner on 74th St (a block from the Roosevelt St train station) now faces intense competition from rival Indian, Tibetan and Bangladeshi restaurants in Jackson Heights on 74th St, 73rd St, Roosevelt Avenue and 37th Avenue.
Plus, there’s a bunch of Indian/Pakistani/Bangladeshi food carts too around 74th St and Roosevelt Avenue.
So fierce is the competition in Jackson Heights that we wonder if any of the Indian restaurants there are making money.
Two local Indian favorites (Mumbai Grill and Mehfil) closed shop in recent years.