Hospitality giant ESquared’s dip into the fast-casual Italian market was short-lived. The Sosta, an Instagram-y pasta restaurant backed by same company that founded vegan hit By Chloe, has closed just over a year after opening.
The Nolita restaurant swung open with pastas, focaccia sandwiches, and antipasto boards at 186 Mott St., between Broome and Kenmare Streets, in July 2017. It closed on November 21, and brown paper now covers the restaurant’s windows, Bowery Boogie reports.
ESquared says in a statement to Eater that it chose to close the restaurant after “thoughtful consideration.” The company did not give further reason for the shutter.
When it opened, the Sosta had five pasta options that were made each morning, including spaghetti pomodoro and a campanelle pesto. Each could be replaced with zucchini noodles or a gluten-free option. The restaurant was obviously geared toward a fashion crowd, with variations of millennial pink accenting the 60-seat space. In August of last year, the restaurant lost its founding chef Ali LaRaia, who left for northern California. ESquared creative director Samantha Wasser, who was a co-founder of By Chloe with ousted chef Chloe Coscarelli, remained.
As of now, there are no plans to relocate the restaurant, the Sosta team tells Eater. ESquared still operates vibey fast-casual restaurants like the rapidly expanding By Chloe and Dez, a Middle Eastern spot serving Moroccan lamb meatballs and pitas that the company opened last May. The company is also behind spots like the Wayfarer, the Florentine, and BLT Prime, though the only NYC location of the latter shuttered in December.
The fast-casual pasta market is one that restaurateurs have struggled to make happen. Fine dining chefs like Mark Ladner have made worthy attempts that too have closed. Pasta Flyer, which the ex-Del Posto chef opened just over a year ago, is set to close early this year despite the praise it received from critics, though the chef says he plans to reopen it elsewhere.
- ‘The Sosta’ by ESquared Fails After Little More than a Year [Bowery Boogie]