A former managing partner at Gotham Bar and Grill is trying to raise money to reopen the storied fine dining restaurant, the New York Times reports. The news comes as a surprise after the 36-year-old institution previously closed its doors permanently in March, citing early economic impact from COVID-19.
The person spearheading Gotham’s potential return, Bret Csencsitz, had been formerly involved as a partner at the restaurant for the past 13 years, the Times reports. He is now trying to fundraise for a potential reopening and reach a new operating agreement with a new, unnamed partner in the restaurant who “also recognizes the legacy the restaurant represents,” Csencsitz tells the Times.
Csencsitz is in talks with the restaurant’s four original partners to acquire the trademarked use of Gotham’s name. The four partners are amenable to handing over the rights to the name after details are worked out, according to the Times. Csencsitz is also trying to negotiate a new lease at Gotham’s old spot in Greenwich Village.
Gotham Bar and Grill originally announced that is was closing for good in March, on the same day that the state ordered all restaurants and bars to shut down dining rooms due to COVID-19. The restaurant had seen plenty of upheaval in the past year: Longstanding chef Alfred Portale left Gotham after 34 years and was replaced by Victoria Blamey, who was heralded as a new, more modern leader for the restaurant. Gotham maintained its three-star Times status throughout the transition, although Eater critic Ryan Sutton still found the restaurant to be dated after Blamey took over.
After Gotham closed down, Blamey took a chef position with the Mayflower Inn & Spa in Connecticut, where she’ll be working until the fall, according to the Times.
If all goes according to plan, Csencsitz is aiming to reopen the restaurant by next spring. He did not disclose any details about potential changes to the menu or space, other than to note that he wants to “make it feel like the same space but with a new look.”