Following more than a year of weathering explosive sexual misconduct accusations against its former owner Ken Friedman, the John Dory Oyster Bar in the Ace Hotel is closing. A flagship location of dessert phenomenon Milk Bar will replace it, the Times reports.
A spokesperson for the eight-year-old Nomad restaurant did not give a reason for the closure, which officially occurs after service on February 23. But it comes following troubling times for the seafood restaurant that started with bombshell allegations in December 2017 of Friedman’s prolific sexual misconduct, from public groping to requesting nudes from staffers and unwanted kissing. (He said some of the incidents did not happen “as described.”) By summer, Friedman and former partner April Bloomfield — now sole operator of John Dory and the Breslin — split as well.
That’s not all, though. The management company running Ace Hotel New York sued Biergarten LLC, Friedman and Bloomfield’s former company behind the Ace Hotel restaurants, for allegedly cooking the books at the Breslin and John Dory Oyster Bar. They are seeking at least $5 million in damages. Friedman denied the allegations and claimed that management “unlawfully removed” him from operations.
Now, the space will be handed over to Christina Tosi. There are currently 17 locations of the dessert shop built on whimsical sweets like cereal milk soft serve and compost cookies. This space will become a flagship for the brand, its biggest yet, set to open by the end of the year.
John Dory Oyster Bar opened in the Ace Hotel in 2010, quickly earning two stars from the Times. In the years since, it became a haven for raw bar and refined seafood near Penn Station.
John Dory Oyster Bar isn’t the only recent blow for Bloomfield — the chef has quietly been closing her restaurants, with Hearth & Hound in Los Angeles shuttering last week. The Breslin and Tosca Cafe in San Francisco are all that remain of her once-bustling empire. Friedman still owns the Spotted Pig, which reportedly remains popular.
Update: February 1, 2019, 4:35 p.m.: This article was updated with the news that Milk Bar will take over the space.