The swanky NoMad Hotel in Manhattan — where chef Daniel Humm and restaurateur Will Guidara spearheaded the launch of the celebrated NoMad restaurant and bar in 2012 — is cutting staff and shutting down temporarily starting next week.
NoMad hotel operator Sydell Group alerted staff that the hotel would be shutting down for renovations on April 2, according to internal communications shared with Eater, as well as a source from within the hotel group. The restaurant and bar will close down on March 28.
The news was shared with NoMad employees during a staff meeting on March 18, according to a source close to the Manhattan restaurant, leaving the staffers with 10 days notice before the restaurant shut down. Benefits have been extended for staffers through April, according to the source, but no severance packages were offered to hourly employees. Staffers were told that the renovations would take four to five months. No assurances were explicitly given that their jobs would still be available after the hotel reopened, according to the source. The company declined to comment on details related to the closure.
The NoMad hotel in Manhattan, which is owned by private equity firm Yucaipa and operated by Sydell Group, has a fraught history of mismanagement and financial troubles. The groups’ top owners traded blows in multiple past lawsuits in 2017 and 2018, while the hotel itself was sinking in debt. Both companies ultimately managed to stave off a foreclosure auction of the property in 2019, according to the Wall Street Journal. The property temporarily closed when the pandemic first hit NYC last March, then reopened in September with a new rooftop dining space.
Meanwhile, fine dining chef Daniel Humm slung his own lawsuit at both Yucaipa and Sydell in January this year. Humm claimed that the companies still owe him nearly $2 million in unpaid management fees following the chef’s split with the company one year ago, according to the lawsuit. In response, Sydell called the lawsuit “baseless and inaccurate in nearly all respects.” That lawsuit is still ongoing.
Humm and Guidara were responsible for launching the celebrated NoMad restaurant inside the hotel through their former hospitality group Make It Nice. It was an instant success, drawing crowds from the get-go for its lauded bar program and head-turning dishes like its whole roast chicken. Make It Nice also ran food and beverage programming for subsequent NoMad hotel locations in Los Angeles and Las Vegas, strengthening the chain’s acclaimed fine-dining reputation. After Humm and Guidara went their separate ways in 2019 and Humm assumed sole control of Make It Nice, the split from Sydell followed shortly after.
NoMad Los Angeles has been temporarily closed due to the pandemic but ultimately plans to reopen as pandemic restrictions lift in the city, according to the source from within the hotel group. NoMad London — the newest addition to the hotel chain’s flashy lineup — is now scheduled to open on May 25, after its December opening was delayed due to the pandemic.