And so ends an era—Big Nick's Burger and Pizza Joint, which has served hungry children and drunk 20-somethings on the Upper West Side since 1962, will shutter. We first saw the news on West Side Rag this morning, and called the restaurant to confirm; an employee tells us they'll be closing at the end of the day today.

Rumors swirled earlier this year that the 50-plus-old joint would have to close due to a massive $200,000-a-year rent hike, but for awhile, it seemed to be hanging on by a thread. Sadly, though, Big Nick's' time appears to have run out, and a West Side Rag reader noted wall decorations were being taken down last night. The round-the-clock restaurant's been a neighborhood staple for decades, and many former and current Upper West Siders, this writer included, are sad to see its bacon cheeseburgers go. "Nick’s is Old New York in the best possible way," a West Side Rag reader wrote. "The idea that they would be forced to close breaks my heart."

As for what's coming to the 77th and Broadway space next, well, an employee tells us, "I believe it will be a bank," bringing the UWS another step closer to its impending future in becoming one giant ATM machine.