MADISON SQ PARK— According to the Times, the Strongbuzz and others, the one-time celebrity hotspot Sapa was due to close last month and reopen as Nuela in August. Philadelphia chef Douglas Rodriguez and Sapa owner Brian Matzkow were meant to be partners, and it sounded like a done deal. But now it looks like the situation isn't so straightforward.
Over the last two weeks, we've received a number of tips hinting at problems at Sapa, which is still on its last legs waiting for a reprieve from Nuela. A few have noted that payroll checks have bounced. One said owner Matzkow has "gone crazy." And a tipster yesterday afternoon emailed us to say the Nuela deal has fallen through altogether:
"Closed down the kitchen and padlocked the doors during the day. Only the bar is open at night for happy hour until around 8 pm and they are maybe open 2-3 days a week. Was supposed to be selling to Douglas Rodriquez but it looks as though that has fallen through. Staff members are coming to the restaurant trying to get their paychecks and no one is there to open the door."Matzkow, however, tells us the the deal has definitely not fallen through, rather it's been delayed due to restructuring, paperwork etc. He fully plans to go through with with the changeover and is now deciding on how Sapa will finish out its run. Its new deathbed hours: Wednesday - Saturday (for the time being).
As for the the people repping Nuela, they're keeping mum about the deal entirely. But no worries. The details will eek out eventually, especially as we get closer to the one-time opening projection for Nuela.
· Sapa to Become Nuela [Strongbuzz]