The last six months have not been kind to Ametller, the West Village BYO that opened in December of 2005 and enjoyed the full embrace of the neighborhood shortly thereafter. It seems that all signs of life have disappeared completely from Dan Babaian's Christopher Street storefront. There was an October EaterWire report, which indicated that hours had been reduced to a sporadic, unpredictable mess. Then in early January '07 the Citysearchers got restless ("Our expectations for restaurants are: good food and friendly service. We didn't get either at this place.").
And now, a reader report may very well be the last nail in the coffin:
I'm pretty sure Ametller, on Christopher Street, is closed for good. One of the servers told me last week that he found out it was closing that day (can't remember which), but then I saw it was open again on Sunday...point is, there's a For Sale sign hanging above the restaurant, and last night there were tables stacked up and no lights on at 10pm.These claims couldn't be confirmed (though re the For Sale sign, it's been there since the beginning), as the venue has remained closed; plus, its phone rings perpetually and the email we'd had on file is no longer working. Dire, indeed.
There is only one sliver of hope in our tale, namely that the venue has applied for a beer and wine license. We are left hoping that Babaian, overwhelmed by crowds he couldn't possibly accommodate, has given himself a timeout while he waits on SLA paperwork. Not likely, but better than dropping the shutter.
· In the Village, Homey Catalan Fare [NYT]
· Grass Inc/Ametller Application for Restaurant Wine License [SLA]