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Le Cirque files for Chapter 11

Landmark restaurant will remain open during reorganization

New York’s landmark restaurant Le Cirque filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Friday, according to a court filing.

Tom Valenti, who joined the restaurant as executive chef earlier this year, also reportedly resigned, according to Eater.

Marco Maccioni, managing member of NYLC LLC, doing business as Le Cirque, indicated in filings that the restaurant’s financial condition was precipitated by an increase in expenses, including payroll, which couldn’t be sustained by current operations.

Le Cirque was in the process of reducing expenses, the filing indicated, but was not able to meet lease obligations. 

For the next 30 days, the restaurant estimates income of $400,000, but expenses of $463,586, including $164, 534 in labor costs, leaving a deficit of $63,586. 

Le Cirque executives said the restaurant will remain open as the company restructures.

In fact, two more licensed Le Cirque locations are scheduled to open in the Middle East this year, both in Ritz Carlton hotels, in Dubai and Qatar. In addition to the New York location, Le Cirque has locations in Las Vegas at The Bellagio, New Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore.

Le Cirque debuted on the Manhattan dining scene in 1974, originally in the Mayfair Hotel. It was launched by Sirio Maccioni, Marco Maccioni’s father, the former maître d’hotel of the Colony Club. 

The restaurant moved twice as it grew, first to the New York Palace hotel, and then in 2006, to its current location in the Bloomberg Building. 

Over four decades, Le Cirque’s kitchen has been home to a number of famed chefs, including Daniel Boulud, David Bouley, Terrance Brennan, and Geoffrey Zakarian.

Sister brands include the Tuscan-inspired Circo in New York and Abu Dhabi. Two more licensed locations are scheduled to open before the end of 2017 in Dallas and Orlando, Fla., executives said.

In addition, the family’s portfolio includes La Cana Restaurant & Lounge by Il Circo and Back Club by Le Cirque in the Dominican Republic, according to the restaurant’s website.

Le Cirque officials confirmed Valenti's departure, saying the restaurant was searching for a replacement.

Restaurant officials said in a statement that Valenti's' "professionalism and legacy in the New York dining scene speaks for itself and he will be certainly missed. His contribution, all be it short, was greatly appreciated by the Maccioni family."

Contact Lisa Jennings at [email protected]

Follow her on Twitter: @livetodineout

Correction: March 30, 2017
This article has been updated to include a statement from the company.
TAGS: Operations
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