The 60-year-old upscale dining spot hasn’t been able to hold onto its clientele, Four Seasons managing partner Alex von Bidder told CNN Business on Saturday, and its investors “lacked the confidence to fund it for another year or six months.”
The restaurant, however, lost its home at the Seagram Building on Manhattan’s Park Avenue when its lease expired in 2016.
Investors shelled out more than $30 million to relocate the establishment a few blocks away, and it reopened in August — but it lost much of its customer base, von Bidder said.
“We didn’t have enough time to make sure they would come back to us,” von Bidder said. “People would eat [at the Four Seasons] two or three times per week. Then all of a sudden it’s gone for two years. They fell out of habit.”
He added that the idea of the power lunch “has dramatically changed over time,” and the crowd that used to regularly have extravagant lunches “are getting on in their age.”
There’s also been a decline in the number of parties and events booked at the restaurant. And von Bidder acknowledged that Four Seasons price points are prohibitive for many diners: Its current listing of lunch entrées include a $36 tuna burger, the cheapest option, and a $56 poached halibut. Dinner starts at $40 for mushroom ravioli.
“We didn’t see a clear path with the current sales,” von Bidder said.
According to the Times, Niccolini pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault in March 2016. He told the paper last fall, “It is something of the past.” CNN Business was unable to reach Niccolini for comment on Saturday.