One year after reopening following a fire and 14 years after its debut, Greenwich Village restaurant with a farm-to-table ethos Mas (Farmhouse) is closing its doors. The French-influenced American fine dining restaurant, which opened in Greenwich Village in 2004, will finish service at the end of June, according to chef-owner Galen Zamarra.
Zamarra — a James Beard Award-winning chef who opened Mas following stints in Michelin-starred kitchens of Georges Blanc and David Bouley — said that he and business partner Eric Blinderman decided that Mas no longer has long-term sustainability. To make it viable in the long-term would require a rebrand, he says, and they opted instead to shut it down.
“We saw that it’s very difficult to keep running Mas profitably, five years or 10 years down the road,” Zamarra says. “It was time to make a decision.”
Mas (Farmhouse) has been through a lot over the years at 39 Downing St., between Bedford and Varick streets. Zamarra opened it in April 2004, a few years after winning the James Beard Award for rising star chef of the year. Though initial reviews were rocky, by 2008, the Times awarded it two stars — saying that “in growing older Mas has indeed grown wiser.” Diners have come here not necessarily for thrills but for Zamarra’s dedication to his ethos and to accommodating diners.
But at one point the gas turned off in the restaurant, shutting it down for several weeks, and then in 2016, a fire broke out on the premises, forcing another closure that lasted about a year. It didn’t reopen until June 2017, with some limited upgrades. “Every year is a big challenge. You’re always going up against the new hot thing,” Zamarra says. “Mas has persevered for so long.”
The restaurant’s last day will be June 30th. After that, Zamarra will be out of the kitchen of any restaurant in the New York area, including on the North Fork, where his consultancy has ended. Despite purported increased cost of doing business, the chef plans to return to a restaurant kitchen; new projects are on the horizon.