Fridays quits Gage & Tollner site on Fulton

The exterior and interior of T.G.I. Friday’s, at 372 Fulton St., are protected landmarks. The site was formerly occupied — for 102 years — by Gage and Tollner.
The Brooklyn Paper / Dennis W. Ho

The T.G.I. Friday’s restaurant on the Fulton Mall — which was commended last week for allowing commuters to stand under its awning during rainstorms — abruptly closed this week, a victim of high rent and not enough customers.

“Business was just bad,” said Jamie Galler, a vice president at Riese Corporation, which ran the franchise.

Friday’s opened at 372 Fulton St. in 2004 in the location of Gage and Tollner, a Brooklyn institution which opened in 1879 and moved to Fulton Street in 1892.

Gage and Tollner closed in 2004 after its owner, Joe Chirico, concluded he couldn’t make it work.

While the upscale Gage and Tollner might have been an anachronism on a Fulton Mall dominated by chain stores and fast food places, the fast-paced Friday’s failed as well.

The restaurant recently garnered praise when the Fulton Mall Improvement Association convinced its management to put away outdoor furniture during rain so people could seek shelter under its awning.

“Clearly the tables and chairs weren’t serving a purpose in inclement weather anyway,” said the Association’s spokesman, Shane Kavanagh.

But before wet commuters had a chance to enjoy the awning, the restaurant closed.

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