After nearly a decade in Williamsburg, popular American pub Rye will close next week. Chef-owner Cal Elliott posted on Instagram that the closure is a result of the end of the restaurant’s 10-year lease.
Rye, one of Michelin guide’s bib gourmands for 2018 and a major happy hour destination, is known for Elliott’s duck meatloaf sandwich and rustic vibes at its location at 247 South 1st St., between Roebling and Havemeyer streets. The speakeasy space on the lower level, The Bar Below Rye is most known as the destination for Rye’s popular happy hour, featuring $6 old fashioneds and $6 cheeseburgers.
Elliott has been a part of Williamsburg’s culinary scene for over a decade, cooking at the shuttered Dumont and also serving as one of two opening chefs at Dressler, which also closed after seven years in the neighborhood. Elliott opened Rye in 2009 in a space that used to be a bodega, heavily redesigned to look like a Prohibition-era speakeasy with its dark wood and tin ceiling.
Times critic Frank Bruni found the restaurant a bit confused and confusing in his review in 2009, noting that while “it’s a restaurant worth knowing about, it’s not as simply and easily navigable as it should be.” But with the help of its super cheap old fashioned/burger happy hour, Rye has become a beloved Williamsburg institution. The restaurant was even featured in an episode of Boardwalk Empire.
Now, Rye joins the other casualties of Williamsburg’s dining scene, like sandwich shop Saltie and New American restaurant Roebling Tea Room, which both closed after many years in the neighborhood. Saltie reportedly closed due to a personal decision by the owner and not a rent increase, but Roebling Tea Room’s closure was, like Rye’s, due to an ending lease.
“Saying goodbye is never easy and this is no exception,” Elliott wrote in his Instagram statement. “I have not done everything perfectly at Rye, and Rye itself was not perfect, but we showed up everyday to this spot in the middle of a tough block, and did our best.”
Rye’s last night will be February 17th. Eater has reached out for more information.
- All Coverage of Rye [ENY]