We get word from Gothamist that restaurant Alison Eighteen (15 West 18th Street between 5th and 6th Avenue), which only opened in 2012, will be closing down. The place was owned by Alison Price Becker, who was also a film, theatre, and tv actress in the 1980′s. They served a New American turned seasonal French menu at a slightly high price point, putting them in competition for restaurant goers with some of the best restaurants in the neighborhood.
Without naming names, we have an incredible amount of top-tier destination restaurants in the neighborhood, sought out by people from other neighborhoods, tourists, and locals. And then we have a next tier of restaurants that will only survive if they can get locals in the door on the Tuesday after work dinner, or the Wednesday evening in cold mid-January. This neighborhood is as competitive as it gets for a restaurant, and this next tier must have both great food and be reasonably priced enough to get the local business midweek, in person or delivered. (We also have the work lunch takeaway spots which also sees robust demand but that’s another niche). Recette’s Jesse Schenker plans to take over the space with a more casual menu, which may have better luck.
We always enjoyed our meals at Alison Eighteen, and the restaurant would be among the best restaurants in 99% of American suburbs and towns, but in the Flatiron it was clearly tough to find that combo of food, price, and ambiance to thrive. Hopefully the Schenker’s will have better luck.