Annisa, Anita Lo's 17-year-old West Village staple, will close in May. In a dispiriting report from the Times, Lo reveals that a substantial increase in real estate taxes, coupled with the new minimum wage increase, made business untenable and she feels it's "impossible for her to keep up with costs."
According to Lo, real estate taxes on the Barrow Street space doubled in the past two years, rising by $80,000. Lo had also recently made changes to the restaurant's operations as well, moving to a no tipping model that also meant raising menu prices. After doing so, she lost "almost a quarter of her diners each night."
"I always wanted to have a restaurant that takes care of its employees, and I felt like we did that for many years," she says. "But I can't do that anymore."
Lo rebuilt Annisa after it was destroyed by a fire in 2009 and was awarded three stars by the Times in 2014. She has previously been involved with several other NYC eateries but says she has no plans to open another restaurant anytime soon.