Coronavirus has proved a double blow to restaurateur Keith McNally: First he got the virus himself and now his original restaurant has closed permanently due to it
Currently recovering from coronavirus himself, restaurateur Keith McNally sadly will not be able to fulfill a wish he made in November 2019 of having his last meal at his oldest restaurant, Lucky Strike. He’s just shut it for the final time and blamed the global pandemic for the French-American bistro’s demise.
Of why the “Soho staple” at 59 Grand Street, near West Broadway in New York – which opened in 1989 – has closed permanently, McNally told Eater:
“Due to the COVID-19 crisis, I was unable to find a way to make Lucky Strike work financially. This decision was particularly difficult since many of Lucky Strike’s wonderful staff have worked for me for over 20 years, and some of the customers have been coming since the day we opened: 31 years ago.”
In the same interview last year where he talked about having one last “steak au poivre medium rare” before going to meet his Maker, McNally waxed lyrical about Lucky Strike more generally and in conversation with Food & Wine’s Regina Schrambling commented:
“When I opened Lucky Strike, it was far easier to build a restaurant than nowadays. There weren’t these absurdly strict health rules that are designed as much to rake in money for the city as to make eating in restaurants safer.”
In spite of McNally openly sharing knowledge that Lucky Strike didn’t make a profit as long ago as 2016, he was honest about why he kept it open. “I like the staff…I am fond of all of them,” he stated, but now, sadly, for these pour souls, they’ve only got left GoFundMe left as a means of survival. Meanwhile, on Instagram, of why Lucky Meal had served its last meal, the “Restaurateur Who Invented Downtown’ concluded: “Greedy landlord during lockdown syndrome.”
Sadly this is just the start of the troubles for restaurants… I predict a fair few will not reopen in London too. A great loss for communities and the dedicated staff.
Sebastian… a bit like the famed Mortimer’s? i.e. meh food but people liked the feeling of familiarity.
I do hope the public hostelries can survive too. A pensioner does like a treat after all at least once a week.
Many others will unfortunately follow the same path.
I always found the food there average to mediocre. No great loss.