Thomas Keller will close his iconic Beverly Hills restaurant Bouchon by the end of the year, leaving a gaping finer dining hole in the middle of Los Angeles.
Eater heard days ago that Keller would be letting go of the giant multi-floor lease at the Beverly Hills property, owing to a number of factors between Bouchon and the city itself (which owns the building). In a statement, Keller acknowledges those troubles, saying:
It is with great sadness that we must end our partnership with the city of Beverly Hills and will therefore not continue to operate Bouchon Bistro, Bar Bouchon and our bakery in Beverly Hills. We have not been able to find a solution to the adverse conditions impacting our success with our landlord, The City of Beverly Hills, that would provide the proper conditions for the restaurant. The circumstances no longer exist to operate a profitable restaurant. We have had nine wonderful years and I am proud of what we have achieved, making a mark in the challenging BH business landscape, hosting wonderful events with the community of Los Angeles and creating a loyal customer base. I especially want to commend everyone who has worked with us over the years to make such an important impact with our guests and the community. We will conclude our operations at the end of the year, but remain committed to providing our guests and neighbors with the cuisine , the service and the excellence they have come to expect from us until the very last minute of our last day.
This wasn’t the first time Keller and his team had been angling for help from the city of Beverly Hills since opening back in 2009. A number of amendments to the restaurant’s original lease have over the years requested reductions in things like parking fees as a way to keep Bouchon from hemorrhaging money, but ultimately the decision was made between both parties to move on.
The move to shutter Bouchon by the end of the year means that Los Angeles will be without Thomas Keller for the foreseeable future. It also marks one of the more high-profile shutters for the world famous chef, and offers a peek into just how slim the margins for restaurants can be even at the highest level. No word on exactly what the final night of service for Bouchon will end up looking like, but expect a party.