Five years after the BLT empire tried its hand at a restaurant downtown, a tipster tells Eater that BLT Bar & Grill is shuttering. A manager at the restaurant confirms the restaurant's last day is this Friday and that there are no current plans for relocating. It's not entirely clear why ESquared, which operates the BLT restaurants, is shuttering the property, a rep simply says: "After a successful five year run, Esquared Hospitality will not be renewing its lease for BLT Bar & Grill at W New York - Downtown." The restaurant in the W Hotel was the first of the LT/BLT empire to open after acclaimed chef Laurent Tourondel left the company in a nasty professional divorce, but at least one early diner back in 2010 didn't seem to mind that Tourendel wasn't in the kitchen.
ESquared has its hands full at the moment. This week, the group opened vegan restaurant and veggie burger spot by Chloe with vegan celebrity chef Chloe Coscarelli. And, another BLT Steak is also in the works for spring 2016 on the first floor of a luxury condo building on West 52nd Street.
Meanwhile, Tourondel is spending his time at the Event Hotel at 29th and 6th, where he quietly opened The Vine this spring and where he plans to open L'Amico, an Italian-inspired American restaurant with wood-fired pizza sometime soon. Hopefully, this will mark his comeback after a few rough years following that divorce.
<strike>Update: BR Guest — the team behind Dos Caminos, Ruby Foo's and others — is taking over the BLT Bar & Grill space, reports the Tribeca Citizen.</strike>