clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Former Bourdain Home Les Halles Shutters Last Outpost Amid Bankruptcy

Owner Philippe Lajaunie has had some legal troubles

Les Halles Foursqaure

The last location of Les Halles — the brasserie best known as being the restaurant where Anthony Bourdain got his start — has officially closed after a bankruptcy court ordered that the owner give up the lease.

The French restaurant’s Financial District outpost, located at 15 John Street, is no longer open, according to the Times. According to public records, owner Philippe Lajaunie filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy for the location in May, which would have allowed him time to keep the company alive, and kept the lease on the space as part of the process.

But by the end of July, the court decided that Lajaunie and Les Halles needed to give up the lease. On August 8th, the judge also decided to reject Lajaunie’s bankruptcy case and is asking the restaurateur to prove why he shouldn’t just fold the restaurant’s company all together instead with a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

The next hearing for Lajaunie’s bankruptcy case is on August 29th.

Les Halles and Lajaunie have been in legal and financial hot water for some time. The Park Avenue South outpost shuttered last March after nearly 25 years in Rose Hill, and although Lajaunie blamed a rent hike, the restaurant had been in the process of an eviction due to thousands in unpaid rent.

At least two vendors have also sued the restaurant for unpaid bills in the last two years, according to public records. In May 2016, Les Halles and Lajaunie settled a case with a produce vendor over unpaid bills and had to pay more than $26,000. In October 2016, a restaurant rewards program company sued the Park Avenue location and Lajaunie for nearly $665,000 in damages for breach of contract. The case is still ongoing despite the bankruptcy.

And last summer, Lajaunie’s lawyers withdrew from a class action labor lawsuit against Lajaunie — saying that the restaurateur owed them more than $100,000 in legal fees. The judge ended up ruling in favor of the employees because Lajaunie had not been following the rules of the lawsuit.

Former employees also accused him of closing the Park Avenue South location without any warning. Before the shutter, a group of servers walked out during Friday night service due to bouncing paychecks.

Still, when the Park Avenue location closed, Lajaunie was optimistic about the FiDi one remaining open. He told Eater at the time that he was even considering opening another outpost of the brasserie. He did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Tuesday.

Les Halles first opened nearly 25 years ago, and in the late ‘90s, food world celebrity Bourdain worked there, later memorializing the experience in the book that launched his media career, “Kitchen Confidential.”

The brasserie capitalized on the famous connection for years, even calling Bourdain a “chef-at-large” on their website as recently as spring 2016. But Bourdain has not been affiliated with the restaurant for years.

Les Halles

411 Park Ave S, New York, NY 10016 (212) 679-4111 Visit Website