What do Bobby Flay’s Mesa Grill, Keith McNally’s Pastis, Wylie Dufresne’s wd~50 and Danny Meyers’s Union Square Cafe have in common? All are game-changing restaurants that have either closed or are on their way to the chopping block.
The shuttering of some of New York’s favorite eateries that opened in the late 90s and early oughts signals a sea change in the city’s food landscape, according to the Village Voice. The newspaper boils it down to simple math: many of the new wave of dining spots typically signed 10-year leases with five-years options. So restaurants that benefitted from a down market between 1999 and 2004 will soon fall prey to today’s rising real estate prices, if they haven’t already.
Now, the more natural tenants of large midblock commercial spaces with attractive frontage will likely take over such spots occupied by restaurants in then-gentrifying neighborhoods, such as the Flatiron District and Union Square. Those tenants are banks and retail stores, Faith Consolo of Douglas Elliman told the newspaper. [The Village Voice] — Tom DiChristopher