As if you needed another reminder that neighborhoods change in NYC, today it became clear that Wylie Dufresne will, in fact, close his pioneering LES restaurant wd-50 because of a real estate development.
On Tuesday, Dufresne took to Twitter to announce his restaurant’s closure, which was followed by mourning in the foodie community. Many wondered if the restaurant was closing because of the pending development that is set to tear down the current building to make way for a new one. On Wednesday, Dufresne told The New York Times that yes, that was the case.
“It’s a real estate thing,” he told the Times. The developer, Icon Realty Management, would not comment.
wd-50 opened on Clinton Street at a time when modernist cuisine was not the norm in NYC and when the LES was more known for its bar and rock club scene than its dining scene. (And the rock club scene is basically gone now.)
Luckily for fans of Dufresne’s avant-cooking, his new-ish restaurant Alder is still open in the East Village (get the pigs in a blanket) and he told The Times that while he has no solid plans for a reopening of wd-50, he’s not throwing in the proverbial towel, just yet.
“We don’t quite know yet where we’re going,” he said. “It’s like they say, ‘You don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here.’”