The John Dory Oyster Bar, one of the two remaining New York restaurants still operated by the chef April Bloomfield, will close this month. Christina Tosi, the founder of the popular dessert chain Milk Bar, said on Friday that her company would take over the space and transform it into a flagship store that they hope to open by the end of the year.
Levi Jones, a spokesman for The John Dory, confirmed the Feb. 23 closing date for the restaurant, which opened in the Ace Hotel in the NoMad neighborhood in 2010. News of the closing was first announced on Instagram. Ms. Bloomfield did not respond to requests for comment on Friday.
Ms. Tosi intends to turn the space into the biggest Milk Bar to date, serving her signature compost cookies and birthday cake truffles.
“Because N.Y.C. is our playground for all parts of life, big and small, this store will be a super fun, imaginative wonderland unlike anything we’ve dreamt up before,” said Sarah Tabb, a brand manager for Milk Bar, in a statement to The New York Times.
Ms. Bloomfield, the British-born chef who has been one of the most famous and successful women in the industry in this century, now has only two restaurants in her portfolio, The Breslin (also in the Ace Hotel) and Tosca Cafe in San Francisco. The Hearth & Hound, her restaurant in Los Angeles, closed in January.
In 2004, Ms. Bloomfield and her business partner, Ken Friedman, opened their gastropub The Spotted Pig in West Village of Manhattan to immediate acclaim. The John Dory, their big, colorful British take on a classic New York oyster bar, opened in the meatpacking district in 2008 before moving to the Ace Hotel. Ms. Bloomfield’s shellfish pan roasts, whitefish salad and Parker House rolls were instant hits. It was the beginning of a decade of empire-building that ultimately included eight restaurants in New York and California.
In December 2017, The Times published a report, based on interviews with dozens of employees, that Mr. Friedman had sexually and verbally harassed employees throughout their partnership. Mr. Friedman immediately stepped away from the business, and Ms. Bloomfield began the process of dissolving their partnership. At the end, several ventures had closed, Ms. Bloomfield was left in charge of four restaurants, and Mr. Friedman retained control of the Spotted Pig.
In October 2018, Ms. Bloomfield spoke out for the first time about her role, acknowledging that she hadn’t done enough to protect employees from the toxic behavior.
“I failed a lot of people,” she said. “That’s on my shoulders.”
Ms. Tosi, who was the first pastry chef at David Chang’s Momofuku restaurants, opened the first Milk Bar in a tiny East Village storefront in 2008. On Saturday, she will open her 16th, in Cambridge, Mass.
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