Bye Bye, New York

This feels real.

TAK Room, the super fancy Hudson Yards restaurant, which opened just over a year ago, has permanently closed its doors.

The famous chef Thomas Keller said “Given the challenges of the past five months, we could not find an economically viable path to continue operating without expected seasonal, New York tourism and traffic.”

It’s easy to see why a $100 a plate experience can’t survive a shutdown, but they’re hardly the only ones that are finally saying enough’s enough.

The New York Times has a story about Michael Weinstein, who owns and operates 20 restaurants around the city. He said he will never open another restaurant in New York.

I understand the thinking that this too shall pass, and that recency bias is kicking in, but this quote sounds like it’s driven by numbers rather than feelings. Weinstein said:

“There’s no reason to do business in New York…I can do the same volume in Florida in the same square feet as I would have in New York, with my expenses being much less. The idea was that branding and locations were important, but the expense of being in this city has overtaken the marketing group that says you have to be there.”

It’s not just restaurants that are leaving. It’s also retail and residents. This doesn’t feel temporary

I’m not suggesting that New York City will be a ghost town, but it’s not going back to what it was, at least not any time soon.