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Le Pain Quotidien Was Planning A Swath of Closures in Manhattan Before Shutdown

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Plus, celebrity chef Geoffrey Zakarian hosts a “foodathon” for City Harvest — and more intel

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An Le Pain Quotidien in the West Village of Manhattan as the Coronavirus, COVID19, outbreak continued unabated on March 19, 2020 in New York City.
Inside a Le Pain Quotidien in the West Village
Photo by Victor J. Blue/Getty Images

LPQ was already having troubles

Bakery and cafe chain Le Pain Quotidien was reportedly struggling for survival in the U.S. before the coronavirus crisis hit, according to the New York Post. Now, it’s unclear how many locations will re-open their doors after the ban on dining-in is lifted across the country.

The chain, founded in Belgium, had already flagged around 19 locations for permanent closure, according to the Post’s sources. The targeted locations reportedly include five in Manhattan: 205 Bleecker Street and 375 Hudson Street in the West Village, 937 Second Avenue and 1006 First Avenue in Midtown, and 124 Seventh Avenue in Chelsea.

And there could be more cuts: RCS Real Estate Advisors, a firm known for helping struggling companies, is reviewing the chain’s portfolio of restaurants to advise on which locations to shutter. Amid the pandemic, LPQ also laid off all of its roughly 2,000 U.S. employees on March 23, followed by “most office staff,” according to the report.

A real estate source with knowledge of the review told the Post that while this singular situation won’t be that impactful on New York’s real estate landscape, the overall “rash of bankruptcies over the next two or three months will be alarming.” Other restaurants in the city are already starting to declare permanent closures: Keith McNally’s Lucky Strike is calling it quits after 31 years and Gimme Coffee, one of the original third-wave coffee shops in NYC, is shutting down both locations in Manhattan and Brooklyn.

In other news

— Food Network celebrity chef Geoffrey Zakarian is hosting an hour-long television special tonight to raise money for food nonprofit City Harvest. The program features celebrity chefs like Giada DeLaurentiis and Rachael Ray passing along recipes from their home kitchens, while actors including Lin-Manuel Miranda and Brooke Shields share tributes to NYC. The special runs from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Fox 5 and My 9 and is available to stream online at Fox5NY.com and CityHarvest.org.

— Lower East Side Thai hotspot Wayla is now offering takeout and delivery on Caviar. The restaurant will start taking orders at 12 p.m. daily.

— Gowanus brewery Threes Brewing launched a new online store where customers can order beer delivery from the company directly. Delivery in Brooklyn and Manhattan below 14th street is free, as well as shipping across New York on orders over $100.

— Hell’s Kitchen Korean skewer restaurant Kochi is now offering Korean-style bento boxes and sushi rolls for takeout and delivery on Caviar, Uber Eats, and DoorDash. The menu is available from Wednesday to Sunday from 12 p.m. to 9 p.m.

— Eater Young Gun (‘19) and Sol Sips chef Francesca Chaney is partnering with cookware startup Equal Parts to take over the startup’s nightly text-a-chef hotline and dole out plant-based cooking tips from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. tonight. Equal Parts and Chaney are using the wages that would normally go to the chefs that monitor the hotlines this evening to donate meal kits to people in East New York, Elmhurst, and the South Bronx who have been affected by COVID-19.

— Billionaire George Soros is directing more than $130 million towards local COVID-19 relief efforts in the city. Of those funds, $20 million will be used specifically to create an Immigrant Emergency Relief Program that directs one-time payments to up to 20,000 immigrants in the city who are excluded from accessing federal relief aid, including $400 for individuals and $1000 for families.

— Citi is funding a new effort from &Pizza to dedicate some locations entirely to feeding hospital workers, according to a restaurant spokesperson. The pizza chain’s Astor Place location is the first to be converted under the new partnership. &Pizza plans to produce over 100,000 free pies for hospital workers with the new Citi deal.

Filipino chain Jollibee has launched delivery on DoorDash.

— And we’re all going to tip at least 20 percent, no matter what:

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