Florent Will Close June 29, May Move to Airport
The meatpacking mainstay's final days will be modeled after the stages of grief.
The meatpacking mainstay's final days will be modeled after the stages of grief.
An interview with Tenjune owners Eugene Remm and Mark Birnbaum offers depressing snapshots of contemporary nightlife.
According to legal papers filed last week, meatpacking district restaurant-lounge Buddha Bar hasn’t exactly been following the Noble Eightfold Path when it comes to its pay policies. A server, bartender, busboy, and six other employees have filed a class-action lawsuit accusing owner David Kay, CEO Nina Zajic, and GM Peter Jastimi of numerous stingy practices: withholding portions of their tips, redistributing tips to employees who weren’t entitled to them, failing to pay minimum wage, withholding a portion of “service charges” that diners assumed were paid to waiters, and forcing employees to pay for walkouts, uniforms, and credit-card fees. By the looks of these papers, it looks like the restaurant’s giant Buddha is the only thing sitting pretty. Reyes, Goins, and Peralta v. Buddha Bar
Downtown Brooklyn: So much for a Valentine’s Day debut: Amy Ruth’s at the Fulton Mall isn’t even open yet. [Lost City] Hamptons: Restaurant Week begins March 20. Bargain meals at close to 70 participating restaurants seems like a good excuse to take advantage of any lodging bargains before warm weather sets in. [Restaurant Girl] Meatpacking District: Florent plans to give up the ghost on a high note, on Gay Pride Day at the end of June. [NYP] Midtown East: Citysearch calls Ducasse’s food at Adour "comme ci, comme ça." [Bottomless Dish/Citysearch] West Village: The Beatrice team might expand to L.A. [Down by the Hipster]
Lost in the shuffle of this year's high-profile openings has been a major lingering question: What ever happened to Scott Conant? One of the city's top Italian chefs, Conant last year gave up both of his restaurants, L'Impero and Alto, to pursue a mystery project. (Michael White took over both places, to great acclaim.) Conant monkeyed around in the Hamptons, consulting for a friend, but only now is his next real project in view.
Cupid must have aimed his arrow directly at Barneys' publicity-loving rear — and we're shamelessly hot for it, which is why, hot on the heels of our warehouse-sale live blog, we're writing about the damn place again. Racked reports the chain is opening a store in the scary retail megaplex that is the meatpacking district.
We’ve learned from nightlife broker Alex Picken that Pizza Bar has been bought out by its landlord and is likely to be repurposed for dry use. “Meatpacking rents have gone up,” says Picken. “You’ve got guys paying peanuts, and you’ve got fashion stores paying the cheese.” (Landlords are asking as high as $300 a square foot, we hear.) Picken has also heard that the space that recently housed Gin Lane is acquiring a new lease holder who will turn it into more of a restaurant. Picken, a meatpacking expert of sorts, is unfamiliar with the operators, so we probably aren’t talking about Kyky and Unik, who were recently bought out of PM and are experiencing delays with Merkato 55. More meatpacking movement: UrbanDaddy has the scoop on a new French restaurant operated by the owners of new club Kiss & Fly. It’s called Bagatelle — that’s a French word, not a portmanteau meaning “douche-bag clientele.” Related: In the Bag [UrbanDaddy] Meatpacking Rent Party: Lotus and Pizza Bar for Sale Breaking: Avalon Closed 'For Reservations,' Other Clubs Bite the Bullet
East Village: TKettle owner Andy Pan is still waiting for his partner BBQ Chicken to open, but “it’s killing me softly,” he says. [Eat for Victory/VV] Little Italy: Send a mixed signal to your love this Valentine’s Day with a candy ring from Papabubble. [TONY] Lower East Side: Tomorrow night at Suba is a pata negra feast, which includes dishes made with “Ossabaw Island hogs, the ‘long lost cousin of the Pata Negra’” paired with Spanish wines. [Bottomless Dish/Citysearch] Midtown East: Initial reactions to Adour are already mostly positive, but no one else has noticed the specially reserved handbag seating, yet. [Eater] Rockefeller Center: On Friday from 3:30 to 6 p.m., Morrell is hosting a tasting of La Caravelle Grand Cru to celebrate the Champagne’s ten-year anniversary. [Snack]
Yesterday Eater broke news that Florent’s landlord has been showing the building to potential tenants (Eater originally misidentified the landlord, so take that rumor for what it’s worth). Florent’s future has been tenuous for some time now — a June 2007 Daily News item mentions owner Florent Morellet trying to renegotiate his lease while neighbors closed shop. We’re hearing from one source that Florent’s lease is up in May, after which Florent will close. Another source says that Morellet planned to sell the business because his health is worsening (his T-cell count is displayed on one of the menu boards). So was it the Florent space that Anthony Martignetti was referring to when he told us he was considering opening a restaurant near Pastis? Who knows, it may also have been the old Rhone space, abandoned by Double Seven. Morellet wasn’t available for comment today, but we’ll keep you posted on what may be a double blow (remember, Passerby will soon close) to the meatpacking district. Update: Asked whether Anthony Martignetti is considering the Florent space, a rep tells us she has no new information at this time. Note: She didn't say, “No.” Related: SHOCK CLAIM: Florent Restaurant to Close This Year? [Eater] Paris Shaped by the Pen [NYDN] Earlier: Anthony Martignetti Plots a New Restaurant Over Croissants at Pastis Passerby Hasn’t Quite Passed On
Meatpacking District: With the wave of recent restaurant and nightlife closings, this area seems doomed, but Los Dados and long-delayed Merkato 55 might be able to salvage the hip destination, at least "on its western perimeter." [Zagat] Midtown East: Midtown Lunch finagled a sneak peak of Sakae Sushi’s conveyor belt and loses his cool: "If you’ve been to an outlet overseas, you may end up disappointed by the first US location which lacks some of the uniqueness or ‘cool’ factor of the locations in Asia. That’s because they felt a more subdued location would be more appealing to the clientele of Midtown.… Even when we get something cool, we get screwed." [Midtown Lunch] Park Slope: Lebanese Laila has closed, which doesn’t seem like a surprise since it was across the street from "the better, cheaper Olive Vine." [TONY] South Slope: The Fourth Avenue soup man has officially given up his spot in preparation for a new fancy condo. [Eat for Victory/VV] Upper West Side: China Fun is getting in on the New Year shill fest: Submit 500 words (or fewer) on why you want to celebrate the Year of the Rat at China Fun (firstname.lastname@example.org), and you could win a banquet for eight. West Village: After losing its lease, Italian sandwich destination Crosby Connection is moving from its hole-in-the-wall to an actual restaurant space a couple of blocks away. [The Gluttoness]
Astoria: This blogger doesn't know which new arrival to the neighborhood is worse: the Broadway chorus-boy gays or the Applebee's. [Manhattan Offender] Bay Ridge: They're gonna move the ugly-ass Gowanus Expressway onto a sleek cable suspension roadway and fill in the old area with emerald parkland! Well, wouldn't it be pretty to think so. [NYDN Cobble Hill: A developer wants to build townhouses on the empty land surrounding the pretty old Lamm Building on Amity Street, but locals object because the new houses wouldn't face the street and leave room for backyards like all the other houses. Tense. [Brownstoner]
East Village: Do a piercing salon, tattoo parlor, and bong shop qualify as the "community facilities" a developer said he'd rent to in return for being allowed to build bigger than code here on St. Marks? Discuss. [Neither More Nor Less] Elmhurst: A skater boy rescued a newborn baby, umbilical cord intact, from a freezing Dumpster. Troubled young moms, New York law says it's okay to abandon babies … as long as you leave them somewhere safe and warm where they can be found! [Newsday] Flatbush: Locals here called in more noise complaints in the second half of 2007 than in any other Brooklyn hood. So does that make Flatbush the borough's noisiest hood or just full of its noisiest kvetchers? [Ditmas Park Blog via NYDN]
Bensonhurst: L&B Spumoni Gardens wants to cater your Christmas pizza dinner. [Lost City] Dumbo: A liquor store is going in at 102 Jay Street next to Bridge Apothecary. [The Real Deal via Dumbo NYC] Meatpacking District: Pizza Bar has closed just as Pop Burger rises. [Eater] Midtown East: Dona returns at 206 East 58th Street … and it will be cheaper! [Restaurant Girl] West Village: Eric Goode and Sean MacPherson have reportedly purchased the Riverview Hotel for $33 million. [Hotel Chatter via Down by the Hipster]