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Pastis Revival Shows Signs of Movement Amid Changing McNally Empire

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The team reapplied for a liquor license for the iconic restaurant

Keith McNally in 2016, wearing a black sweater with a white collar
A 2016 photo of Keith McNally
Nick Solares

The revival of Keith McNally’s Meatpacking District hot spot Pastis may be back on track — the team just reapplied for a liquor license at the new 52 Gansevoort St. building in the West Village.

Since the seminal restaurateur closed the iconic restaurant four years ago, there’s been little activity on the reopening. McNally announced a new location in 2015, and in the middle of 2016, word was that it would open at the end of last year. But that time has passed, and now the newest Community Board 2 agenda shows that a restaurant with the d/b/a Pastis is on deck to request approval for a new liquor license.

This could be an important bit of positive news in an empire facing recent uncertainty. Just last week, McNally’s team announced the impending closure of Cherche Midi, the French steakhouse on Bowery. He also closed Schiller’s Liquor Bar last summer after 14 years; although restaurants close all the time, it’s more unusual for McNally, who’s had few major closures in his decades-long career. It’s led restaurant industry watchers to speculate that the health of the empire is related to the health of its leader; the 66-year-old suffered a stroke a little more than a year ago and has been spending more time in London, away from his New York restaurants.

Sophie McNally, his daughter and representative, tells Eater the closures were rent- and lease-related and unconnected to his health. She declined to comment further on the restaurants or the business.

McNally is credited with inventing the stylish form of dining that’s now prolific in NYC. His restaurants include Balthazar, Minetta Tavern, Augustine, and Morandi. He also helped open The Odeon, and French brasserie Pastis, which closed in 2014, became a destination for A-list celebrities.

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