Defying the legions of morbidly obese Americans who believe that bigger is better, stubborn New Yorkers insist that sized-zero restaurants are all the rage, and penny-pinching restaurateurs aren't complaining.
"Restaurants' appetite for space has shrunk dramatically since the recession," explains the Journal, citing cheaper rents, lower overheads and more intimacy as the reasons some owners are looking for pint-sized places. Tabitha Tan, owner of a new 800-square foot Asian fusion restaurant set to open soon in the East Village, said her architect called her crazy: "He told us this is going to be an impossible project...But for good food and good alcohol people in New York will cramp into a small space and wait for hours." Which, if the lines at Ippudo are any indication, is true.
Of course, this isn't really a new story—the Daily News was turning tiny into a trend way back in 2004, and New Yorkers do take a certain pride in their ability to cram themselves into tiny spaces. Hell, some of our favorite places don't even have tables (Otafuku, anyone?). The big benefit to dining in oversized restaurants seems to be that they take reservations where mini ones usually don't. But how good can the food really be if you don't have to wait for it?