Another High-End Restaurant Goes Under Thanks to COVID

Thomas Keller in the kitchen of The French Laundry (Image: YouTube screen grab)

Now you see it, now you don’t. That is quickly becoming the swan song on New York’s higher-end eateries.

The latest casualty is Chef Thomas Keller’s TAK Room in New York City’s Hudson Yards complex. The website is still up and contains the semi-hopeful message  “Due to New York City mandates, TAK Room will be closed until further notice. Please continue to check back and follow us on Instagram @TAKRoomNYC for updates.” But according to Restaurant Hospitality, Keller made the official announcement on Aug. 12 that the restaurant — Keller’s latest — was closing permanently because of “irreparable damage” from the pandemic.

The chef, who owns Per Se here in the city, the veteran French Laundry in Napa Valley, and Masa, arguably the world’s most expensive restaurant, in the Time Warner Center, is also closing the Hudson Yards branch of Bouchon Bakery.

Of the closings, Keller said in a statement:

These decisions were not made lightly. They came after painful deliberations amid a pandemic that has devastated the global economy and caused irreparable damage to our business and profession. Given the challenges of the last five months; we could not find an economically viable path to continue operating without expected seasonal, New York tourism and traffic.

Our profession continues to face long-term, daunting challenges and much work lies ahead. But we are resolute. While this news is devastating, we remain hopeful for the future, and committed to advocating for independent restaurants whose survival is so crucial to the wellbeing of communities everywhere. We will look forward to a time when we can rebuild.

So do we.

See also…