As if the polar vortex weren’t enough to chill the city’s spirits, New Yorkers received some deeply unhappy news yesterday when photos emerged, via Eater, of a demolition crew laying waste to the iconic Gray’s Papaya in Greenwich Village. While Bedford + Bowery learned from general manager Romy Villanueva that the details of the closure are not 100% clear (all signs point toward a price hike being the cause), the removal of the iconic neon sign leaves little doubt about the fate of the beloved hot-dog shop. Following the sudden closure of the Hell’s Kitchen location in 2011, this leaves New Yorkers with just one more Gray’s remaining, up on 72nd Street and Broadway.

While fine-dining enthusiasts mourn the loss of old classics like Lutece and Chanterelle, and drinkers pour one out for lost dives such as Mars Bar and Max Fish, there’s something particularly painful about the demise of Gray’s. A hot dog and a styrofoam cup of juice, available for the change in your pocket, was a universal New York pleasure. We feel sorry for anyone who never got to stand in the brightly lit storefront at 3am, housing a few kraut-smothered dogs and looking out the windows onto the late-night bustle of Sixth Avenue.

Food writers, drunks, and New Yorkers of all stripes have been expressing their grief on Twitter since the news broke. Here are some of the notable reactions:

Twitter reacts to the death of Gray’s Papaya

Robert Sietsema was among the first to share his condolences.

Mario Batali backed up Sietsema’s rallying cry to protect NYC’s iconic restaurants.

NY Post’s Steve Cuzzo noted that, sadly, real-estate laws protect buildings, not what’s in the hearts of New Yorkers.

And speaking of Batali, it turns out that he takes his assistants to Gray’s to welcome to the job—pretty awesome.

Ruth Reichl found solace in the fact that we can still get our fix uptown.

Andrew Zimmern was simply in shock.

Vanity Fair’s David Kamp pointed a worrisome trend in Greenwich Village.

Time Out NY Food & Drink editor discussed a move many booze writers are familiar with.

And Rap Radar’s Brian “B.Dot” Miller noted that NYC landmarks are falling like flies these days.

Here are a few more reactions from mournful Gray’s fans:




R.I.P., dog!

[via Eater]