Hakkasan — the splashy Midtown outpost of the international fine dining Cantonese chain — has permanently closed after eight years in the city. A representative for the Hakkasan Group confirmed the closure, writing in an emailed statement that “we have made the difficult decision to close our location due to the ongoing impact of COVID-19.”
The Theater District spot has remained closed since the pandemic-related shutdown in March. Ownership posted a message on Yelp back in April letting customers know that the restaurant would be closed indefinitely, but they were hopeful that the establishment would reopen. The restaurant subsequently laid off all 95 of the employees at the NYC outpost.
Hakkasan debuted in NYC in 2012 serving up extravagant dishes like Peking duck with kaluga caviar and Japanese abalone with black truffle, along with comparatively affordable fare like claypot chicken, crispy duck salad, and sweet and sour pork. Food critics, though, were not impressed with both the New York Times’ Pete Wells and the New York Post’s Steve Cuozzo slapping the establishment with negative reviews that called out the restaurant’s overpriced dishes.
The restaurant did, however, receive praise for its dim sum selection, and in a later review for New York magazine, critic Adam Platt noted that the “selection of Cantonese dim sum is the best in the vicinity,” and also praised the Peking duck served without the caviar.
Still, like many fine dining establishments across the city, Hakkasan remained closed for much of the summer, even as other establishments across the city began reopening with outdoor seating. Several fine dining spots have reopened with the return of indoor dining at 25 percent capacity, but many others are still waiting for more capacity or in some cases the spring, when the warmer weather will better allow for a combination of indoor and outdoor eating.
The original Hakkasan debuted in London in 2001 and was founded by restaurateur Alan Yau, who also created the Japanese chain Wagamama. Since its launch nearly two decades ago, Hakkasan has quickly expanded to cities across the globe including Mumbai, Dubai, Shanghai, and U.S. outposts in Miami and Las Vegas. Hakkasan’s San Francisco outpost closed in May this year due to the pandemic.
Still, despite the impact from the pandemic, the restaurant group is gearing up to open three new establishments in Las Vegas, Muscat, and Dubai, within the next couple of years, according to the spokesperson.