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NYC's Most Cursed Restaurant Space is Now a Monastery

In a Talk of the Town piece this week (with subscription), Gay Talese recounts the history of 206 East 63rd Street, which close restaurant world followers may know as one of the most cursed restaurant spaces in New York. And he reports that its long, tortured history is finally coming to a close: the building is becoming a monastery. 70 year-old Zen Buddhist Samu Sunim bought the property this February, threw out all the last remnants of the restaurants, and will open the ground floor up for service and the upper floors for monk living quarters. The best part about the piece, of course, is Talese's timeline of the space, which summed up looks a little something like this:

1977: Le Premier, elegant French
1979: Bistro Pascal
1984: Gnolo
1986: Moon's
1988: John Clancey's East
1992: Lolabelle
1995: Napa Valley Grill
1996: Tucci
1997: Tucci No. 2
1998: Peaches
2000: Il Patrizio
2005: Haikara Grill
2008: Smokin' Q

· Karma Department: Past Lives [New Yorker, with subscription via The Awl]
· Doomed Spaces: A Rexaminination of 206 East 63rd St. [~ENY~]
[Ilustration via The New Yorker]

206 East 63rd St., New York, NY