Florent -- gone in name, but not in menu!
Eater is reporting the surprising news that Meatpacking District pioneer Florent, set to close Sunday after 23 years, will reopen on Tuesday as the R&L Restaurant. That's the name of the diner that preceded Florent in that space, and Florent never took the sign down, nor did it change much of the original restaurant's basic design.
In a further surprise, R&L will retain the menu and the staff. (Those great wall maps, however, have reportedly been auctioned off.)
So, the question arises, why not just keep Florent Morellet in business?
Says Eater, quoting landlord Joanne Lucas:
When asked why Florent isn't involved in the new evolution she responded, "Florent from what I understand is moving on to a new chapter in his life." Many will see this as a happy ending for the Florent saga. He may be gone, but the space will remain unchanged., which never took the R&L sign down.
Lucas is part of the original family that owned R&L back in the day. Eater theorizes that this move is a mere stopgap measure until another tenant is found for the space. But we doubt this development will cut down on the crowds this weekend as Florent calls it quits.
-- Rolando Pujol