300-seat Pan-Asian restaurant Ruby Foo's closed at the end of last week without any warning. The website has vanished and the phone line now plays a message: "We are no longer in business. We thank you for your loyal patronage." Also, the sign is now hanging in the window:
Steve Hanson's restaurant started on the Upper West Side and spawned a Times Square spinoff. But the first restaurant closed along with its sister establishment Fiamma back in 2009. Hanson split from the group that he founded in 2013. Over the last few years, BR Guest extinguished Wildwood and Primehouse, while turning part of Blue Fin into a new location of Dos Caminos. Hanson's replacement, James Gersten, also abruptly left the group a few weeks ago.
Here's what Ruth Reichl had to say about Ruby Foo's back in 1999:
Despite its splendor, Ruby Foo's is a very careful restaurant. This is no Le Cirque 2000. Mr. Hanson, a savvy restaurateur with a deep understanding of his audience, has opened a restaurant that is spectacular without being expensive, the sort of place that can attract everybody from young families to people on the prowl. And his multimillion-dollar gamble seems to be paying off.
No word yet on whether BR Guest has another restaurant planned for the space. Eater has reached out to the group. Stay tuned for more details as they become available.