"No one has the Midas touch all the time," said restaurateur Ken Friedman of his recently shuttered John Dory. "It was a really sucky block for that restaurant." A little fish wading between whales like Del Posto and Morimoto, Friedman said, with high rents and few covers, the John Dory was the right restaurant in the wrong place.
Still, there's hope yet, Friedman told the crowd at the New York Culinary Experience (after a skal to loosen his tongue). "We have decided on a location for the John Dory's new home, and it's three times the space of the old one." Where, exactly, he wouldn't yet say.
But new ventures, he believes, have a fighting chance in today's down economy. "Manhattan is today the way Williamsburg was five years ago. There are opportunities for restaurants everywhere. You can walk into a restaurant that just closed and take their kitchen right over. None of the brain damage that comes with building your own."