What happens when the conversation about a restaurant has more to do with controversies than the food served there? It’s not the kind of situation that suggests a thriving culinary space, or one with a long future ahead of it. All of which is a roundabout way of saying that the news that The Spotted Pig is closing is not necessarily a surprise.
Grub Street reports that the end of the once-iconic restaurant was rumored, and then confirmed on social media. “In two Instagrams posted overnight, the restaurant’s chef, Tony Nassif, wrote that the restaurant has closed,” writes Chris Crowley. “There will be no more food served at the restaurant, though an employee tells Grub Street it’s possible the bar will remain open tonight.”
Earlier this month, Spotted Pig co-founder Ken Friedman announced that he was leaving the restaurant after settling with 11 employees who had accused him of sexual misconduct, allegations that came to light at the peak of the #MeToo movement. The restaurant also drew controversy for the behavior of disgraced celebrity chef Mario Batali, a onetime investor in the restaurant.
In 2018, a plan to revive the Spotted Pig’s fortunes by bringing in Gabrielle Hamilton and Ashley Merriman fell through. Since then, the restaurant has existed in a kind of limbo: still present, but known more for the bad actions of several of the men involved in running it than anything else. With that in mind, it’s not surprising that that wasn’t ultimately sustainable.
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