4. Republic

After over 20 years in Union Square, beloved Pan-Asian noodle bar, Republic, closed at the end of December. Considering the restaurant’s large footprint and its ideal location in the neighborhood, it’s not entirely surprising that it would eventually face rent and tax increases. Republic was 3,800-square-feet in size, making it one of the bigger restaurants in Union Square. Additionally, it was very popular with the area’s younger demographic, offering a casual atmosphere, communal tables, modern-chic decor and great ramen for economical prices.

As Union Square became more desirable, restaurants like Republic, which helped to create the neighborhood, could no longer maintain their spaces. In 1995, Republic’s lease went for $220,000, but the taxes on the building have since gone up from $90,000 to $476,000. As such, its owner decided to end his lease three-and-a-half years early, and the new tenant is not yet known.