Mena, the TriBeCa restaurant headed by executive chef Victoria Blamey, is closing its doors at the Walker Hotel after its last service on Saturday, less than six months after it opened to raving reviews.
Ms Blamey announced the closure in an Instagram post Thursday morning, saying it was “an ownership decision”. She added that she was “dedicated to bringing Mena back” by reopening it in a different location.
In a phone call, Ms Blamey declined to comment on details of the closure but said she was made aware of the decision about a week ago.
A spokeswoman for the Walker Hotel said the hotel was the landlord, but a catering company had a lease for the space and got Ms Blamey to run the restaurant. (Mrs. Blamey is listed as a partner on the restaurant’s website, but she denies being the owner.)
The hotel’s spokeswoman said the hospitality company decided to close the restaurant for “financial reasons”, citing the challenges of labor shortages “and the current climate that keeps a fine dining restaurant open”. She said there was a lack of demand after the opening.
Mena was the hotel’s anchor restaurant, the spokeswoman said, adding that the hotel was delighted to have “someone of Victoria’s caliber come in”.
Mena’s January opening has been praised by restaurant critics, including Pete Wells, who wrote in DailyExpertNews that “Mena overshadows so many other high-end restaurants that have opened in the city in recent years.”
Before Mena, Mrs. Blamey had run the kitchens of Gotham Bar and Grill and Chumley’s in the West Village.
Several dishes at Mena were reinterpretations of some of her earlier ideas, such as a bowl of lentils under mushroom chips. But much of the menu was inspired by her upbringing in Santiago, Chile. Ms. Blamey said Thursday that the restaurant gave her the opportunity to expand her “vision of what it is like to be a Latina, South American immigrant, but at the same time with a broad background in international, classic food.”
Ms Blamey said she hadn’t started looking for another location yet, but that “the idea is to look ahead. It’s about what Mena will be more than what Mena was. These situations happen, and I’m going to working to make sure this doesn’t happen again.”