High end restaurants from New York to Los Angeles are hurting…
This article in the Wall Street Journal explains how even such a strong operator as Stephen Hanson’s B.R. Guest group has not been able to halt the receding tide of customers in the biz. He’s just closed multiple restaurants in the Big Apple and the Windy City, including the mega-famous Ruby Foo’s and the highly regarded Fiamma — helmed by uber-chef Fabio Trabocchi to 3-star status over the past two years. (So much for the power of restaurant critics.)
Fiamma-Las Vegas (helmed by its own uber-chef Carlos Buscaglia) is alive and kicking, but we must take issue with Hanson’s statement that his Vegas Dos Caminos operation is doing well. The cavernous space of over three hundred seats (400 if you count the private rooms), never looks more than a quarter full (that’s the problem with a 400 seat restaurant), and ELV gets constant reports of its imminent demise.
The fact that it serves fair-to-middlin’-Mexican food is helpin’ matters not one bit.
The good news is that prices are being slashed across the board — making dining out in top-flight restaurants at least 20% cheaper now that it was a year ago. And you can expect early bird specials and prix fixes to keep proliferating.