Papaya Purge: The King Is Vanquished on 14th Street

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Photo: Shanna Ravindra

Weve covered the great Papaya Purge with equal parts diligence and sorrow, shaking our heads ruefully as Clinton Papaya, Papaya del Barrio, and Papaya Dog of Washington Heights have shuttered. But this one is hard to swallow: Jeremiahs Vanishing has noticed that the 14th Street outpost of the original (Papaya King) has closed, and a call to the shuttered establishment reveals its because the rent was too high.

Actually, we saw this coming the location has been on the market for some time, and its neon sign had lapsed into such disrepair that it was proclaiming the place PAPA KING for a while. But its still sad to see this happen while a rank imitator, Papaya Dog, does swift business some blocks south. But maybe that was the problem we have to admit we often walked by this location of Papaya King and held out for the snappy service at Grays Papaya nearby. Of course, the 86th Street store continues to thrive, but its time to pour one out preferably one made from the aristocratic melon of the tropics.