Even an optimistic name couldn’t save restaurant owners of Miracle Grill, who have closed and filed for bankruptcy, continuing a legacy of the little restaurants that couldn’t make it at that cursed corner of Seventh Avenue and Third Street.
The reason for the Miracle Grill’s demise was simple: the economy stinks, said owner Michael Ensminger’s lawyer, Gabriel Del Virginia.
Del Virginia told Crain’s Business blog that the grill owes some 50 creditors — including local businesses nearby — totaling almost $350,000 in debt culminated over four years in business.
“I do a number of Chapter 11 cases, which oftentimes come out of bankruptcy by reorganization or through the sale to another operator,” he said. “We would have hoped that this was the situation here, but unfortunately it was not in the cards.”
Customers and local business operators nearby say that the intersection has been cursed for years. Miracle Grill followed a handful of other unsuccessful businesses at that location, including Minksy’s burger joint, Rex’s, Cuzco, Nam and Capulets of the Slope.
“Nobody has luck over there,” said Angelo Fiumefreddo, a head cutter at the nearby Park Slope Barber Shop, which has been between Second and Third streets for half a century.
Real estate brokers in Park Slope don’t think the corner is cursed, of course. Roslyn Huebener said the culprit is more likely a higher concentration of restaurants in the area, which has caused restaurateurs to struggle to maintain a customer base.
“People aren’t making high-end purchases anymore, meaning retail income doesn’t match rents,” she said.
The Miracle Grill was the last leg of three restaurants in a chain, two of which closed in Manhattan years ago.
There is at least one sign of hope for the intersection. Barrio, the Brooklyn outpost of Spencer Rothschild’s restaurant mini-empire, has been successful at the opposite corner for more than eight months, said head waiter Jose Ventura.
But he’s still thinking of haning some garlic or saying some magic words.
“It all started 20 years ago when there was a fire that left the building next to us vacated — and the owner still won’t sell it,” Ventura told The Brooklyn Paper. “Everyone keeps telling me it’s the curse, but I’m hoping Barrio breaks it. It’s sad to see that Miracle Grill is a victim.”