Monday, March 26, 2018

Report: Cherche Midi looks to be closing on the Bowery

[Image via Instagram]

Cherche Midi, Keith McNally's French brasserie on southwest corner of the Bowery and Houston, appears to be closing this summer.

Rumors were circulating earlier last week about the impending closure. On Friday, Patch reported that the restaurant had filed paperwork with the state about the matter:

The restaurant will close on June 11, according to a notice filed with the state. Under New York law, private employers must provide written notice if their business will close, suffer a mass layoff or relocate. The notice says that Cherche Midi will lay off 46 employees because of a "plant closing." The closing date is listed as June 11 on the notice. It lists the reason for the relocation as "economic."

The restaurant has not made any official comments yet about its fate.

McNally, who also runs the Odeon, Balthazar, Minetta Tavern and Augustine in the Beekman Hotel, opened Cherche Midi in the summer of 2014.

This replaced McNally's Pulino's Bar and Pizzeria, which apparently tripled nearby rents and caused men to urinate in the co-ed sink. Pulino's opened in March 2010.

This would mark the second high-profile restaurant to close on the Bowery and East Houston since last August. Daniel Boulud shut down DBGB Kitchen and Bar after eight years in the Avalon Bowery complex between First Street and Houston.

"In this location, it’s busy on weekends but erratic in the early part of the week," Boulud told The New York Times. And per Eater: "The neighborhood is changing," he said of his decision to close the "very good restaurant."

Both restaurants opened around the time of the start of the East Houston Reconstruction project, which is now just five years behind schedule.

The area in front of DBGB remains torn up, as workers are apparently grappling with underground utility issues...


Anonymous said...

My prediction for the gentrified Bowery, chain restaurants (as in Chipotle and Shake Shack, some run of the mall shops which most New Yorkers have never heard of, and all this surrounded by high end luxury condos. This is what the lack of urban planning and unleashed developer money brings.

Anonymous said...

This is music to my ears. I worked for Keith McNally for a couple of years. I was treated horribly and disrespected to no avail by him and the management team. I know I am a grown up who has moved on since then, but when I hear of things such as this, I am actually happy because karma is a bitch.

Anonymous said... you think it could be because for the last decade there has been serious construction going on at this intersection and the traffic is a nightmare to get to or from this corner? Or could it be that the neighborhood just won't support transients with money during the week....that time is reserved for transients without money.....the homeless.

Anonymous said...

I hate crossing the street in that busy area, and no matter what comes to this corner location, I am not interested. It is too hectic. I don't think I could relax and enjoy a meal in that place.

Giovanni said...

Let this be a warning to anyone else opening a non-chain restaurant on The Bowery: if even Keith MvNally can't make it work there, you can't either. The traffic isnt “erratic” in the early part of the week, itls non-existent, and there is only more traffic on the weekends from people walking between the West Village/SoHo and the LES and East Village. The Bowery is not a destination, its a through-point. Neither tourists nor locals are hanging out there, they are mostly passing through. And that’s why The Bowery is the place where dreams go to die.

Anonymous said...

This is for @ 9:03

I was also an employee in one of Keith's restaurants in the front of the house. I won't say which one, but I wasn't treated well either and as a result, I ended up resigning due to the lack of regard and respect for its staff. It was that bad. Working under his brand left a sour taste in my mouth. It was pure torture.

The loss of Cherche Midi won't be epic. There is Balthazar, Augustine, Morandi, and Minetta Tavern. McNally will still be pocketing millions of dollars. The ultimate problem I find with McNally is his greed and entitlement. He doesn't know how to effectively deal with the public or his staff. Maybe that is why this location failed.

I also agree with the other commenters. The Bowery isn't a destination for dining as of late. Sad, but true.

Katie Mac said...

McNally also closed Schiller’s this last year and at that time discussed how Cherche Midi was also not doing well. His interview on that particular corner among other things:

Giovanni said...

@Katie Mac. Good article on Eater. McNally says that Schillers, Lucky Strike and Cherche Midi make no money. I went to Schillers when it opened a few times but people there were trying too hard to look cool. It was also too loud. He says that there was no lunch business at Cherche Midi. I guess he never walked down the Bowery at lunchtime. Except for the noisy car traffic It’s pretty dead. The best part is where he says he doesn’t like eating out and prefers to just cook at home. Meanwhile people are killing each other to get a good table at Balthazar. Hilarious.