Thomas Keller closing TAK Room, Bouchon Bakery at Hudson Yards

Chef says team “could not find an economically viable path to continue operating”

TRD New York /
Aug.August 12, 2020 07:00 PM
Thomas Keller with Bouchon Bakery and TAK Room in Hudson Yards (Taylor Hill/FilmMagic, Bouchon Bakery by David Escalante via Thomas Keller Restaurant Group; TAK Room by John Lamparski/Getty Images for The Conservatory NYC)

Thomas Keller with Bouchon Bakery and TAK Room in Hudson Yards (Taylor Hill/FilmMagic, Bouchon Bakery by David Escalante via Thomas Keller Restaurant Group; TAK Room by John Lamparski/Getty Images for The Conservatory NYC)

Celebrated chef Thomas Keller has announced that two Hudson Yards eateries, TAK Room restaurant and Bouchon Bakery, will close for good.

In an Instagram post Wednesday, Keller said the decisions were “were not made lightly” and “came after painful deliberations amid a pandemic that has devastated the global economy and caused irreparable damage to our business and our 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,” he added.

The announcement is the latest setback for the Hudson Yards mall, which has been shut for several months as a result of the pandemic. In July, luxury department store Neiman Marcus announced it was walking away from the site after filing for bankruptcy protection in May. Brooks Brothers, a retailer on the first floor of the mall, filed for bankruptcy in July, before it was rescued by Authentic Brands and Simon Property Group.

New York City’s indoor shopping centers have not been cleared to reopen, though malls in the rest of the state have been allowed if certain conditions are met.

Asked about the latest closures, a spokesman for Hudson Yards developer Related Companies said in a statement that restaurants “have always been the core of New York City’s vibrant culture, and we remain steadfast in the belief that the industry will continue to thrive at Hudson Yards as it did prior to the pandemic.”

“The changing market conditions have created additional demand for commercial office and we are adapting our space and culinary offerings accordingly,” he said.

With Neiman Marcus gone, Related is now marketing the department store’s former site as office space.

 
View this post on Instagram
 

It is to the credit of our amazing managers, dining and culinary teams, and support staff that we were able to realize these dreams 👉. Since opening, the TAK Room team remained nimble at every turn, versatile with each season and never missed a beat at our “hidden gem.” TAK Room would not have been possible without the designers, purveyors, suppliers, consultants, musicians, great friends & supportive families. Tremendous gratitude to Pierre Rougier, Sylvie Picquet, Sara Helmig, Skye Morgan & Parise Sellitti of PRC for their sound guidance; Jimi Yui our consummate kitchen designer; Simon Rawlings & Marco Ginex of David Collins Studio for transporting us to epic design at every turn; Hervé Descottes, Mint Thomrungluck and Artemis Papatadou of L’Observatoire International for bringing our vision to “light”; Dean Barger for our gorgeous murals that met the “mood”; Joleen & David Hughes of Level for developing brilliant branding and provocative visual design; dearest Josh Roth (late), Lesley Silverman & Zuzanna Ciolek of UTA Fine Arts for curating the thoughtful collection of contemporary art; JP Jones for the incredible sounds and Luis Collazo for your floral graces. Thank you supportive neighbors: Mark Paciuto of Related Companies, Joe Gurrera at Citarella, Marc Healy at Milos, Brian Bolke at The Conservatory, Mary McGreevy at Neiman Marcus, Laura Ingrassia at Tiffany’s; Chefs José Andrés, Michael Lomonaco, Eunjo Park; Poppy Harlow of CNN; supporters Julia Fitzroy of Dom Pérignon, Krug & Ruinart, Bertha Gonzales & Teal Black of Casa Dragones & Laura Brown of InStyle with Mercedes Abramo & Karla Flores of Cartier for our fabulous opening. And a special thank you to Laura Cunningham, Julie Secviar, Devin Knell, Sarah Adler, Joe Essa, and all our TKRG team members that contributed to our opening and beyond. We are forever grateful. #saverestaurants #feeditforward

A post shared by Chef Thomas Keller (@chefthomaskeller) on

TAK Room, which opened last March, was Keller’s first new restaurant in almost a decade. However in a subsequent review, New York Times critic Pete Wells took a dim view of its high-end offerings, arguing that the restaurant felt “painfully out of step with the city’s mood.”

Keller, now 64, finished his Instagram announcement with words of thanks to his staff, who he credited for their “utmost dedication, talent and professionalism.”

“And to our guests,” he added, “for their unwavering support.”

Write to Sylvia Varnham O’Regan at [email protected]


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