Only three months in, there are some major changes underway at Urbo, the colossal, two-story restaurant complex built by two Russian restaurateurs near Times Square. The upstairs space, which was host to the complex's pricey, upscale 200-seat restaurant Urbo Loft will now only be used for private events (read: office holiday parties). Despite the $29 million Eugene Kadomsky and Michael Tevelev spent, the restaurant never seemed to find its footing. Steve Cuozzo felt luke warm about his dining experience and Tejal Rao described the restaurant's mostly empty space as having:
The feel of an extravagant opium den with no addicts. An enormous space like this, with an open kitchen and a crush of cooks, needs to be filled with diners and movement, or cleverly managed by the staff to create at least an illusion of atmosphere.
As of today, the restaurant's already gone through two chefs. Brian Young left only about a month in. Now his replacement, Michael Gibney, who was overseeing the food at both Loft and the main floor, Urbo Kitchens, has also left. The management has also dismissed 15 percent of the staff because, as a PR rep puts it, they are no longer needed now that the top floor is operating as an event space. Urbo Kitchens, the coffee shop and bar, are trucking along as usual.