Update: Fat City finally heard from Pieroguys founder Frank Gazella Jr. confirming that the Pieroguys Cafe is indeed permanently closed and his wholesale operation is moving to Philadelphia. More updated information after the jump.
Restaurants come, restaurants go...and sometimes they simply vanish. That appears to be the case with the Pieroguys Crossroads Cafe at 1724 Main, which opened with much hoopla last March in a space vacated by two failed restaurant operations, Souperman and Dog Nuvo. Is the urban location cursed?
The space appears to be vacant, and the phone number is, according to an automated greeting, "temporarily disconnected." The cafe is, however, still featured on the Pieroguys website.
"We're not going out of business," Gazella told me this afternoon by phone from Philadelphia. "We're just eliminating the retail and the cafe side of the business and focusing on the wholesale. This way, we can pay our bills and have fewer headaches."
When Gazella started Pieroguys, his dumplings were made by hand; he has recently made a deal with a Pennsylvania-based company, Lee Foods, to develop the Pieroguys brand by mass-producing the dumplings. Gazella says the pierogi will be distributed in the New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania areas.
As for the Pieroguys Cafe space, landlord Brad Nicholson confirms that he and Gazella "came to an agreement" about the lease. "The next tenant will not be a restaurant," he says.
"Yes, we left suddenly," Gazella says, "but that location was not a good restaurant destination. It just never worked out for us."