Nolita casual restaurant the Usual — from Alvin Cailan, the chef behind Los Angeles hit Eggslut — has closed nearly two years after it opened inside the Nolitan Hotel, at 30 Kenmare Street, between Mott and Elizabeth Streets.
Cailan’s first full-service restaurant in New York closed abruptly last week, and the business’s website and social media accounts are already down. A staffer at the Nolitan informs Eater that the restaurant has undergone a management change and will open as a new space after a couple of months of renovation. The staffer declined to say if Cailan would still be involved with the new venture and declined to provide details about the closure. Eater has reached out to the chef for addition comment.
In November last year, the restaurant was rocked with sexual assault allegations against its sommelier and Alvin’s brother Anthony Cailan. Four women detailed several allegations to the New York Times against Anthony, including forcible kissing and touching. Though Anthony isn’t well known in the NYC dining scene, he’s an established name in the wine world. At the time, the Times also reported that a chef at the restaurant allegedly told Alvin about the harassment, but he did nothing.
The restaurant opened in the summer of 2018 and offered Alvin a first real chance to expand his reputation beyond the breakfast sandwiches he became famous for in LA. He translated that success into pop-ups in NYC for his hit sandwiches and for an offshoot of his LA counter-service Filipino spot, Amboy. A pop-up he hosted centered around the TV show Bob’s Burgers was similarly a big success in NYC.
All that popularity did not seem to translate over to the Usual, but the restaurant did receive positive notices including from New Yorker critic Hannah Goldfield who praised its standout fried chicken.
Stayed tuned for more details surrounding the closure and what will replace the Usual.