It’s “finito” for Palmira’s — the latest eatery to close at the cursed corner of Clark and Hicks streets.
On Tuesday, the restaurant was packed — but not with patrons looking for a hot bowl of pasta fagioli. The visitors were eyeing the restaurant’s chafing dishes, leather chairs and pans, all bound for the auction block.
“This is very difficult,” said Roger Desmond, the late restaurant’s owner, as shoppers milled about him. “My family and I have been here every day for four years.”
Palmira’s is the latest in a long line of restaurants that have tried to make a go of it at the bedeviled intersection. Kevin’s, Heights Cafe, Lotus and Stubs also failed at the site.
“Palmira’s is only the most-recent place to struggle,” said Rob Perris, district manager of Community Board 2.
Desmond attributed the high mortality rate to the restaurant’s cavernous space, the lack of parking, and a stroke of bad luck.
Six weeks after Desmond opened, the building was struck by lightning.
To implement the necessary repairs, the building, the St. George Tower co-op, put up scaffolding for two years, making the restaurant, on an already obscure corner, even harder to find.
Regardless of the obstacles, the restaurant garnered good reviews. Users of the foodie message board, www.chowhound.com, lauded the restaurant, one calling the food “great” but the restaurant “uncomfortably empty.”
As the fire sale took place inside, two women showed up for lunch, only to discover a note on the door announcing the establishment’s demise.
“This is so sad,” said Amy, who was particularly fond of the pizza, but would not give her last name.
“We used to come here, even when we lived upstate.”
She shook her head and then walked away.