In the wake of multiple #MeToo scandals to rock the New York restaurant world, iconic eatery the Spotted Pig, whose owner, Ken Friedman, recently copped to sexual harassment, retaliation, and gender discrimination allegations made by 11 former employees, has closed.
Opened in 2004 with A-list investors including Jay-Z, Michael Stipe and Mario Batali (who has also been accused of sexual misconduct) the Spotted Pig was a VIP playground for the likes of Beyonce, Gwyneth Paltrow, Chris Martin, and Charlie Rose. (After hours, celebrity clientele kept the party going up on the exclusive third floor, revealed to have been given the nickname "the rape room" among employees and industry insiders.)
But it wasn't just the chic scene that earned the Spotted Pig a global reputation. Foodies hailed it as the first true gastropub to land in the U.S. The char-grilled burger became famous, but not more so than the mountain of shoestring fries it came served under. It received Michelin stars. As recently as 2016, the James Beard Foundation named Friedman its Outstanding Restaurateur of the Year.
Friedman's business partner, chef April Bloomfield, whose career was effectively launched by her involvement with the Spotted Pig, was accused of being complicit and aware of what Friedman was doing. When, in 2017, the allegations against Friedman went public, Bloomfield initially distanced herself, before admitting that she didn't do enough to protect employees.
In 2018, the pair finally dissolved their partnership, splitting up their restaurant empire. Control of the Spotted Pig then primarily belonged to Friedman, an arrangement that spelled doom for the West Village staple.
This past Sunday, the restaurant served its last meal. In a statement to The New York Times, Friedman confirmed the closure, saying, "I’ve spent all my family’s savings to keep the Pig open. Sadly, it wasn’t enough. We’ve been unable to raise funds or sell the business, which we needed to do to pay the rent and other debts. The Pig has been running in the red for a long time. And so it must close."
View this post on InstagramDe nuevo en este lugar y sin signos de Leonardo DiCaprio. Pero la birra sin alcohol estaba buenísima 🍻
A post shared by Sofía Edelstein (@sofiaedelstein) on
[Photo via @kristina.dayan]