It is an historic day in MePa. Sascha Restaurant, on the Deathwatch as of 9/27/06 and not yet 12 months old, has closed. Staffers were dismissed yesterday without any previous notice, according to multiple notes we received. As for causes of death, pick your favorites from among: ego, blind ambition, mediocre food, bad service, and an unshakable McNally knock-off stigma.
With its closure, Sascha also claims the dubious honor of being the first of the MePa mega-venues to shutter. Outlasting it are, among others: One Little W12th, Ono, Buddha Bar, Vento, and Spice Market, not to mention Del Posto, Morimoto, Buddakan and Craftsteak. Here now, in an effort to understand how a disaster of such epic proportions comes to be, a Complete Public History of Sascha Restaurant.
1) 6/8/05: Sascha is announced to the public. The press release, a legend in its own right, speaks of a "a watering hole for captains of industry. The Bar Room will be renowned for its clubby comfort, great music and killer drinks. Enjoy classic American standards untouched by time and served with unique, modern flare. Sated, grab an after-dinner drink while you watch the wonders of the Meat Packing District pass you by." Giddy, if not fearful, anticipation begins.
2) 8/25/05: Sascha makes its Plywood debut, and with it comes news of the first delays, from September 2005 to Fall 2005.
3) 9/8/05: Flo Fab's 2005 Fall Preview drops, and we begin to fully understand just how bad things might get. Flo Fab on Sascha, c. 2005: "But Sascha Lyon, one of the new players, is not concerned. "It's fantastic," he said. "A hundred years ago some newspaper wrote about the Gansevoort Market and the intense energy in the neighborhood. That's what this area was always about. The more the merrier."
4) 3/20/06: On opening day, headline 'Lyon's Den' officially over.
6) 5/24/06: In an all time great Bruni review, a staged email exchange, Sascha gets one star. Bruni says: "We also go a French dip sandwich. You'd appreciate it only if you'd lost your mind." Houston?
7) 9/6/06: With Flo Fab's 2006 Fall Preview comes word that Sascha the restaurant and Sascha the chef are no longer affiliated. Flo: "Apparently hoping to give an alma mater, Pastis, a run for its frites, the young chef Sascha Lyon set up shop nearby with this bigger, multistory, multifaceted place. He overreached. Meals were uneven and sometimes befuddling, and last week he left. Would the name stay the same?"
8) 9/27/06: The Deathwatch Committee hooks up the heart rate monitor.
9) 11/7/06: Life support begins in full as Sascha drops its Monday hours completely.
10) 12/18/06: Unable to get enough holiday parties on the books to make the effort worthwhile, Sascha closes its doors for good.