Just a few days after learning that two year old Upper West Side joint Eighty One is closing after Easter, tipsters write in to report that BarBao the nearby Vietnamese joint that was founded by empire builder Michael Bao, is now closed. A receptionist confirms, saying the staff found out this morning and that there are no plans to reopen elsewhere. The space went on the market back in January.
While the shutter could be seen as the beginning of the fall of the Huynh Empire, the wily chef/owner has been distancing himself from the space for the last year, and it is unclear how much investment he still has in 100 West 82nd. He poached the chef at BarBao for his new East Village restaurant DOB 111, while his right hand man Sean Scotese left to open his ill-fated Eastern Alley.
Back in January Huynh said that he and his partners in OBao were negotiating to take over the space. If he does, here's hoping he can salvage BarBao's daikon duck hash.
Update: Huynh confirms he's been out for the last few months but is still trying to negotiate with the landlord to take the lease.
· Future of BarBao Uncertain as Space Goes on the Market [~ENY~]
· Ed Brown's Poorly Timed Eighty One to Shutter on the UWS [~ENY~