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December 30, 2015- I hate to say “I told you so”, but a local blog is reporting that a Poulakakos bar-restaurant on Bowery Street, Bacchanal, is closing after two years. For more on why I think it is a bad idea to have barkeepers attempting to run restaurants, read below.
November 1, 2015- by Steven E. Greer
As you know, I have followed your progress since opening Le District earlier this year. I have been quite impressed at how you have tackled the problems confronting you in this new endeavor. You seem to listen well and take advice.
That is why I am going to give you a major suggestion, which I think represents the views of many in the community: You need to move beyond the Irish Pub model that got you started on Stone Street and become a true restaurateur. You should consider divesting those assets to your partners in that bar business and moving on.
Bars are antithetical to fine dining. They are an easy-money high-profit business with a lot of unsavory characters involved. In contrast, good restaurants take a lot of work, intelligence, hospitality, and have a lower profit margin. You can’t mix the two. The bar mentality is a cancer to fine dining.
I suggest that you adopt the model of Stephen Starr and partner with good chefs. Give some Michelin-star chefs equity in the restaurants at Pier-A and Le District.
You have been given the best facility in the city, Pier-A, by the tax payer. Please do not make it a huge Irish pub as it is now.
Pier-A is not bad. You did a nice job with the interior design. However, the restaurant is not working out yet. Fortunately, that is easily fixed if you make the right chef partnerships. If you divorce yourself from the pub business, you can then compete with Danny Meyer and Stephen Starr.