It was only a few weeks ago that I extolled the virtues of Marco’s, one of my favorite restaurants in Brooklyn, and now? It’s closing. Such is life? Well, no. Not exactly. Such, as it turns out, is the economical reality of running a restaurant in Brooklyn.
Or, at least, that’s what Marco’s owners Francine Stephens and Andrew Feinberg revealed when they sent out a letter to the press yesterday, informing us that Marco’s last night of service will be December 13th. Stephens and Feinberg, who also own the perennially popular Franny’s and Bklyn Larder, wrote that operating the one-year-old Marco’s was no longer sustainable because “the business simply hasn’t been profitable enough to keep the doors open.” While this news might come to some as a surprise considering that Marco’s, while not ever as reliably jam-packed as Franny’s, was usually humming with activity, there had been recent hints of Marco’s fate, most notably in an interview Stephens and Feinberg gave to the Village Voice in early November. In the interview, Stephens said, “The city is looking to restaurants to make up a lot of its income. And it’s small and medium businesses that suffer.” Later, the couple also talked about the “stress that they’re facing when it comes to the Affordable Care Act,” because rates will go up for companies (like theirs) with more than 100 employees come January. Feinberg said, “No one knows what’s going to happen… It’s like throwing everything in the air. How will we come up with that money? Raise prices? Or tack on a surcharge?”
However, when I reached out to Stephens and Feinberg yesterday, Stephens assured me that the Affordable Care Act had nothing to do with the closing of Marco’s and also said that she and Feinberg are “very focused” on getting the staff at Marco’s new jobs, whether within their company or at other places in the industry. We wish them the best; the holiday season is a pretty shitty time to be out of work.
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