With mounting debt, rising rent, and a host of other problems, legendary restaurant Le Cirque looked poised to close its doors for good after New Year’s Eve service. Its outlook is no longer quite as bleak. While the restaurant will still leave its current home inside the Bloomberg Building in Midtown Manhattan, it may have received a stay of execution.
The Maccioni family, whose patriarch, Sirio, opened the restaurant in 1974 inside the Mayfair Hotel (it has moved two times since then), is said to have located a new space for their New York institution, Eater NY reports. Developer William L. Zeckendorf is said to be providing financial support for the family to re-establish Le Cirque in the city.
Even with a new location, it will take some elbow grease to revive the luster on the old gem. Though they cite rising rents as the reason for the closure, recent years have not been so kind to the Maccionis and their restaurant.
In 2012, Times critic Pete Wells downgraded the restaurant from three stars to just one; they’ve been hit with sexual harassment and wage-theft lawsuits; earlier this year the restaurant declared bankruptcy, prompting the chef to quit just three months after taking the job; and in September, they faced a big backlash after hosting a $35,000-per-person fundraiser for President Donald Trump, which they did not respond well to at all. And according to bankruptcy filings, the restaurant lost more than $40,000 in August, spending over $506,000 to operate, but clearing just $466,000 in revenue.
Over the summer, as part of its bankruptcy proceedings, the restaurant was forced to raise funds by auctioning some of its storied wine collection. The sale of 380 bottles including some Château Le Pin 1989, went for $160,000, Bloomberg reports.
Restaurants come and go in New York every day, but Le Cirque’s rich history has fed the rubbernecking from the public in regards to its fate. It has played host to pop stars and presidents, while having a few generations of great chefs pass through the kitchen, from Daniel Boulud to Sottha Khun to Michael Cimarusti.
While the Maccioni family hasn’t confirmed they’ve found a new location, they’ve long stated that the end their time at the Bloomberg Building was the end of Le Cirque in New York City.