After three years in the Meatpacking District, Intersect by Lexus will come to an abrupt end. The restaurant, managed by the Lexus car brand and operated by Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group, is closing for good on January 15, according to a restaurant spokesperson.
There was no specific reason given for the closure, but the spokesperson says it had nothing to do with challenges of the the COVID-19 pandemic and that even after a brief hiatus, the restaurant was “booked solidly with reservations.”
When Lexus opened its 16,500-square-foot branded space in the Meatpacking District, it was one of the splashiest #SponCon projects in the U.S. by a luxury car brand. Nearby, Onjium at Genesis House opened in November as the line of automobiles from Korea looks to make a bigger splash in the United States. Mercedes also operated a pop-up space a block from Genesis.
“We are proud of what we have accomplished, and we consider Intersect by Lexus — NYC a great success,” the spokesperson said.
Fifty-five employees who currently work at Intersect will be offered a chance to work elsewhere within USHG. According to a spokesperson for the restaurant, “There are 211 open positions available across Union Square Hospitality Group and Union Square Events... and we are confident in the ability to find a new position for anyone who desires.”
It’s a sudden end for a restaurant that by all measures appeared to be still going strong. Intersect opened in November 2018, and in an early review, Eater critic Ryan Sutton found that despite there being a full-sized Lexus SUV parked in its lobby, the restaurant’s “expertly executed food” saved it to from “feeling like a total corporate shill.”
During its three-year run, the restaurant — which operates on a rotating chef-in-residence system — hosted fine dining chefs from around the globe. Gregory Marchand of the one-Michelin-starred Frenchie in Paris and London kicked off the splashy opening, and during the pandemic, award-winning chefs such as David Kinch of the three-starred Manresa in California cooked at Intersect by Lexus. Nina Compton of the lauded New Orleans restaurant Compère Lapin is the latest chef to take residency in its kitchen.
Intersect by Lexus plans to keep its two other international locations open, the spokesperson said. The original Tokyo outlet is currently open, and the Dubai space is undergoing renovations before a scheduled mid-January reopening.
Bao Ong contributed reporting.