Union Square Hospitality Group said Thursday it plans to close Tabla, the New York-based company’s upscale Indian restaurant, at the end of the year.
The sprawling 283-seat restaurant, which is scheduled to shut its doors Dec. 30, marks the first establishment Danny Meyer, founder and chief executive of USHG, has been forced to close.
Michelle Lehmann, Meyer’s spokeswoman, called the 12-year-old restaurant a casualty of the economic downturn.
“Essentially, the number of seats is just too many for a restaurant with such a specific focus to fill,” she said. “[Chef Floyd Cardoz] and his team have been working so incredibly hard trying to figure out what they could do, but ultimately it was just economically unsustainable in that way.”
The high-end restaurant, located adjacent to Madison Square Park in lower Manhattan, is best known for its focus on “New Indian” cuisine.
Lehmann said Cardoz would remain with USHG and develop a new restaurant for the group. She did not indicate what kind of restaurant it would be or when it would open.
Meyer praised Cardoz and his team for their efforts in making Tabla a success during its run.
“I am profoundly grateful to Floyd and the entire Tabla team — both our current employees and alumni — for putting every ounce of their passion into creating and operating one of New York’s most beloved restaurants,” Meyer said.
“Floyd and his team have made a valiant effort to make a great restaurant also a great business.”
Lehmann said Tabla would host a number of farewell events, including beer and wine tastings, guest chef appearances, benefits, cocktail parties and cooking classes, as a thank-you and goodbye to its cadre of “loyal guests and friends.”
In addition to Tabla, USHG owns and operates such upscale New York restaurants as Union Square Café, Gramercy Tavern, Eleven Madison Park, The Modern and Maialino.
It also owns and operates the Shake Shack fast-casual burger chain and the casual-dining Blue Smoke barbecue concept.
Contact Elissa Elan at [email protected].