Like so many institutions of higher eating in this great city, admired West Village staple Commerce has shut its doors due to landlord-related drama. Though the specifics of Chef Harold Moore's dispute with his landlord are unknown, the restaurant's highbrow comfort food feasts came to an end over an alleged misuse of "common space," reports Eater. Whether this means that guests' crowding the sidewalk caused too much ruckus on the sleepy West Village dogleg street, or points to some other space-sharing infraction, we don't know.
The loss of this neighborhood favorite to a mere legal "technicality" is tragic, to say the least. When Commerce first opened it's doors in 2008, Moore and his kitchen faced the daunting task of occupying the same carriage house that had been vacated by a Prohibition-era speakeasy, Blue Mill Tavern, and the famed Grange Hall. Despite neighbors' initial skepticism, Commerce quickly became a classic in the Village and beyond, becoming a critical and, of course, commercial success.
After their final service this past Monday, Moore and his "loyal staff" said farewell to the muraled walls of the historic 50 Commerce Street space. But wait, where will all the vintage art-deco lighting go? And what about that fancy $100,000 oven? Alas, we can only hope that the unparalleled sous-vide porterhouse will resurface on one of Moore's menus some day. In the meantime, he seems just about ready to host Commerce loyalists between his two new casual ventures, Commerce Sweet Shop on Bedford Street and Harold's Meat + Three at the Tommie Hotel.