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After 25 Years, Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Soho Hot Spot Mercer Kitchen Will Close at the End of the Year

The decades-old downtown institution has been a low-key celebrity hangout

A person stands outside the Mercer Kitchen in the Soho section of Manhattan.
The Mercer Kitchen in Soho.
Rob Kim/Getty Images

Renowned chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s acclaimed Soho restaurant Mercer Kitchen is closing at the end of this year, the chef confirms.

Though Mercer Kitchen will shutter, it hasn’t been determined whether Vongerichten’s team will continue with room service.

Multiple sources say that a restaurant from the nightlife veteran behind Zero Bond, Scott Sartiano — who more recently became a partner in the hotel — will replace Mercer Kitchen. Sartiano and a spokesperson for the hotel both declined to comment for this story.

Located in the Christian Liaigre-designed Soho hotel, Mercer Kitchen has been in operation since 1998. The lower-level space complemented the Mercer Hotel’s reputation as a low-key celebrity magnet for decades, with wood-fired pizzas, tuna tartare, and warm slabs of chocolate cake served in a chic, brick-walled room. Reps claim it was one of the first restaurants in the city to use a communal dining table. The restaurant weathered both positive and negative New York Times reviews during its tenure.

It’s been a tumultuous few years for the Mercer Hotel, which was embroiled in an ownership battle through the pandemic. Famed hotelier André Balazs, one of the owners and the longtime face of the Mercer who has been accused of groping multiple women (among other things) is no longer involved with the hotel after majority owners Richard Born and Ira Drukier sued to remove him from the business altogether in 2021.

In May, the New York Times reported that Sartiano would be “helping to reboot” the boutique hotel, where he is also the creative director. Sartiano was also the co-owner of 10AK nightclub, for which he filed a lawsuit against former business partner Richie Akiva suing him for $15 million, alleging his partner underreported income and underpaid him when buying out his shares.

In the May New York Times profile of Sartiano, Born said, “We’re only two blocks away from Zero Bond, and the thought of merging his culture at Zero Bond into ours — his Rolodex and his curated community — would be really good for what we are.”

Vongerichten runs a dozen other establishments in New York City beyond Mercer Kitchen, including the two-Michelin-starred flagship Jean-Georges overlooking Central Park, and the restaurant inside of the Mark Hotel on the Upper East Side. The chef is also behind a massive new venture at the historic Fulton Fish Market site, in the South Street Seaport, called the Tin Building. The 55,000-square-foot venue — which includes a dozen restaurants, three bars, and a food market — will open later this month.

“It’s been 25 years,” said Vongerichten. “A great run.”

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