Let's cut right to the chase on this one. Since last summer, the Deathwatch Committee has received regular word that the large space occupied by Devin Tavern in Tribeca hasn't exactly been packing them in. (Spot check from November: "On a Wednesday evening it didn’t seem close to full.")
Then came the April shake-up, with chef Chris Dunn shown the door, and the inevitable menu revamp that followed. (Deathwatch Indicator #44: "menu revamp" followed by a "trust us" shill for the new menu in one of the men's e-dailies.) An Eater reader report from the past weekend paints a picture that isn't at all pretty:
I need to tell you about the ridiculous brunch we had at Devin Tavern yesterday. We had been there once before, before the chef was fired, and thought it was nice but the place was weirdly empty. Went back with my family yesterday afternoon, still pretty empty. We were informed when we sat down that the kitchen was out of pancakes. Odd, but whatever. Then, they were out of muffins, followed by grapefruit juice, and then celery for bloody marys. I can understand running out of certain dishes, but celery and grapefruit juice when you are literally across the street from the Food Emporium?The Deathwatch Committee's over/under: not past Labor Day.
I mentioned to the server that things were different. He said bitterly, "Yes—it's very hard to smile around here." I think the space is gorgeous, so it would be a shame for it to close. But really, how much longer will this go on?
· EaterWire: Devin Tavern Owner Cans Chef [~E~]
· Eater Inside: Devin Tavern [~E~]