Home business COVID Claims NYC’s Beloved Augustine Restaurant, Owned by Keith McNally, Who’s Also...

Sad news in the New York restaurant world. COVID-19 and the quarantine have claimed the beloved Augustine restaurant, owned by famed veteran Keith McNally. A few weeks ago McNally closed Lucky Strike, in Soho, one of the gems of downtown New York.

McNally writes on Instagram: “Due to the impact of Covid, I’m sorry to report that Augustine will have to close permanently. I have tried very hard to find a solution with our landlord, but he was simply not flexible enough to make this happen.
Thank you to all of Augustine’s lovely staff and customers. I’ll cherish our wonderful memories together and look forward to seeing you at Balthazar, Pastis, Minetta Tavern, and Morandi. Or Debtor’s Prison – whichever comes first. xxx”

At least Keith, whom I’ve known for about 40 years, has a good sense of humor. Earlier this spring he reported on Instagram that he had to sell a home to keep going. So far, of all his great eateries, only the new version of Pastis has opened for outdoor dining. Minetta Tavern in the heart of the Village is doing takeout and delivery. The others are still shuttered, which hurts because they are all my favorite places. And always hard to get into!

Augustine was located downtown near City Hall, a location that’s been beset by protesters lately. It had the ornate look of Balthazar once removed. But there was no way to do outdoor dining, especially with so many businesses closed. It’s too bad about Augustine because it was a triumph after the closing of Pulino, which never caught on. (I really liked it, but hey.) Keith McNally is a survivor. Once our lives are restored to normal, he’ll branch out again. Don’t forget, he started two key New York dining classics that he no longer owns (long stories) but were thriving up til March 13th: Odeon, and Cafe Luxembourg.

They will all be back.



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Sadly, my London house went to contract today.

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