Talk of the Town: The Oak Room is Closing at The Plaza Hotel New York

May 9, 2011 By:Mary Winston Nicklin

The Plaza Hotel, New YorkFolks visiting Manhattan often stop by The Plaza to check out the fabled digs of Eloise (Kay Thompson's fictional heroine who lived at the hotel). They also check out the Oak Room restaurant, "long a symbol of grandeur that evoked Edith Wharton’s opulent turn-of-the-century New York"-- to quote The New York Times. Now an ugly brawl over rent is closing the famous restaurant. The Oak Room's operators and the hotel's owners have been sparring about both the lease and the rowdy events hosted at the bar. According to The New York Times: "At the heart of the dispute, Mr. Gindi [an owner of the Oak Room] said, were the Oak Room’s “Day and Night” Saturday afternoon parties, which drew hundreds of young revelers with fat wallets to the restaurant, and reportedly annoyed the Plaza’s year-round tenants. Mr. Gindi said the parties, which began in October, were the restaurant’s one consistent moneymaker, bringing in as much as $180,000 in an afternoon, much of it in sales of top-shelf libations like Cristal and Dom Pérignon Champagne." The Plaza's owners didn't like the noise, nor the corrosive effect on the brand image. So the Oak Room will be shuttered by July 31, though there are ongoing discussions with potential new operators.


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