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Restaurant Closings

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I just heard that The Rainbow Room in NY will be closing this month. They say it is temporary and only to ride out ruined economy, but still... they're closing their doors. The Rainbow Room was the last restaurant in NY that required a tie and jacket. A while ago the Russian Tea Room closed as well. It seems to me that there is a shift in the restaurant dining experiences. No one ever says "Let's dine at Tavern on the Green" anymore. Nowadays you hear "Let's dine at Daniel Balud's restaurant" or "we just made reservations at so and so's restaurant tonight." We seem to seek out the chef more so than the name of the restaurant. Do you think that this is why these major restaurants are closing? Because we don't seem to want a high-end experience anymore... now we want a celebrity experience!

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."


"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

post #2 of 7
Koukouvagia - While I agree to a certain extent with your basic premise, I believe there's more to it than just the fickled nature of today's dining public. At the risk of being pessimistic I think the current state of the economy has a great deal more to do with restaurants being in trouble than you might imagine.

Unlike most recessionary periods this one appears to not only be more severe than usual but also more widespread across the social classes than we would normally see. Due to the extreme collapse of the stock market, financial system, and real estate values everyone seems to have been affected - even the folks who would patronize the fine dining establishments.

I hate to say it but this may only be the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the closing of many places that depend on discretionary income. Unfortunately there may be more dark clouds this year before we see anymore rainbows.

Let's hope I'm wrong,

post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
I agree that the economy has much to do with restaurant closings. But I was commenting that our expectations of restaurants change also. You don't see Babbo going under, or Craft, or Emeril's or any of the celebrity chef restaurants out there. Yes the economy is bad but my understanding is that people who can afford to visit high end restaurants regularly aren't cutting back on their extra curricular expenses like regular joe schmoes.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."


"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

post #4 of 7
it's more about "FOOD" now..than a "scene" (ex. Le Cirque)

Is the food good at those places you mentioned? sure...but it can be had better at other places.

Look at the Momofuku "empire" , opening up new places in a recession, heck, a dinky bakery at that, and still has a line around the block. but, ****, his pork buns are good, and english muffins even better.

All restaurants like The Colony, Rainbow Room, Le Cirque, etc. have a "cycle"....look at the others before them that have closed as well.

BTW - Boulud, was executive chef at le cirque.

if you get a chance, check out the documentary "Le Cirque: A Table in Heaven" (it was on HBO just last week)

celebrity chefs restaurants have that going for them, but look at Rocco.

And, your tavern on the green comment made me cringe.....I'd sooner go to TGI fridays for food before the tourist trap that place has turned into....again a scene...the food...is...bad.

Lots of restaurants staying in business that arent famous chefs....I was at 11 madison last week and you couldnt move the place was so packed. the food....top notch.

Look at the places who have been rated highly for the food quality, if you can give me a list of the top say.....20 places in NYC that have the best "food", regardless of name, price, etc. I'll bet you a sawbuck they wont be going out of business by way of recession unless they were poorly, poorly, managed.
post #5 of 7
Interestingly, one of my favourite local restaurants sent out emails saying that they would not be opening on Sun/Mon/Tues evenings for the next couple of months. And this a restaurant where you have to book up to 8 weeks in advance - and longer, during August.

This is a well-run, well-financed restaurant. I've never eaten there and spotted empty tables.
post #6 of 7
Many of these places rely on corporate business. I hardly ever eat at any expensive restaurants unless my wife is paying or someone else is paying, and I've noticed this year that people are less prone to taking us out to dinner. No matter, I like my lamb tebs better anyway. ;)
post #7 of 7
I think you're right, though, that the "celebrity experience" is a huge draw in the current restaurant market. What's odd is that you don't get it: the celebrity is rarely if ever present, because he's too busy managing his empire of subsidiaries. Instead you get the "signature dish" and a lot of shtick, plus high prices.
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