After less than two years, the well-regarded Flatiron District restaurant Alison Eighteen will close next week. Owner Alison Price-Becker and her partners plan to sell the place to Recette's Jesse Schenker, who is expected to turn it into a more casual restaurant.

Earlier this year Price-Becker brought in a new chef, Roxanne Spruance, who revamped the menu with a focus on seasonal French-influenced food. The restaurant also added an oyster and rose bar over the summer, and seemed to be growing into its spacious new home, where it resurfaced after a long hiatus following the closure of Price-Becker's beloved restaurant on Dominick Street in Tribeca. In a heartfelt email, she elaborates on the closure:

Underneath our success, I would be lying if I said we didn’t have some severe bumps that created distracting obstacles along the way. We were delayed in opening by 4 months due to regulations and permits. We opened, hidden under scaffolding, to good reviews, yet not good enough. A mediocre economy was not cooperating, only to have Sandy’s winds knock the wind out of us, and then the changing of chefs created a bit more instability. And, there were days it was hard to understand the disappointment when guests arrived expecting the jewel box of Alison On Dominick, or the funk of Alison by the Beach, and were overwhelmed by the grandness of our space. Our new guests loved it. We loved it, yet it was behaving like a fickle boyfriend.

When this last offer came in from Jesse & Scott Schenker my heart said no no no, yet my brain said yes yes yes. And then my heart said, yes yes yes, because I could take the opportunities on offer and my brain said no no no for we were finally getting synchronized with the new team. Questions swirled. Restaurants take two years and we were on track, yet we still needed more time, and that time was proving costly. Would we, in this questionable economy, keep moving forward and be financially sustainable? My partners, Michael Namer & Gary Spindler have real estate projects which were pulling them away and investments they wanted to make in their real worlds. Did I want to pass up what is on offer for the future? This was a business decision the partners had to make. And the sale won out.

Reached by phone, Price-Becker said she has no immediate plans to open another restaurant. "It's a really happy/sad thing," she told us. "The team is so tight. We could end up in a pop-up in four weeks. That's a possibility, but right now I'm just focused on finding people jobs." The last day of service will, fittingly, be the 18th.