The SoHo location of Japanese clubstaurant Koi will close this summer because of a sharp decline in business—a sadly common occurance in a competitive city such as ours—only this restaurant is located inside the Trump SoHo hotel on Spring Street. Coincidence? The people who work there don't think so.
In a report by Grub Street, the restaurant's management and employees say they see a direct correlation between financial woes and the election of President Trump last November. "Obviously, the restaurant is closing because business is down," Koi Group's general counsel told the website. "I would prefer not to speculate as to why, but obviously since the election it's gone down."
Employees say business had been robust since the restaurant opened in 2012, regularly attracting a celebrity clientele including the Kardashians, who've allegedly "stopped coming." Imagine the Kardashians aren't rolling up in your spot anymore...and it's a bad thing? Yikes. One busser/host also told Grub Street that non-celebrity regulars at the restaurant said definitively that "if [Trump] wins, we are not coming here anymore."
Many staffers—including long-time worker Ricardo Aca—have already abandoned the sinking ship, and the restaurant is slated to close mid-June—but employees are quoted as saying they think it'll be "sooner."
This isn't the first time Aca has been publicly associated with his (now former) place of employment. During the election he was featured in a video about his experiences as a Mexican immigrant working in a Trump building. "I know I could lose my job just for talking about Trump, but it doesn't make me proud to go to work everyday under his name," he said.
Asked about Aca's statements at the time, then-candidate Trump told the NY Times, "We thought he was an illegal immigrant at first." Trump also promised he would not pressure Koi Soho to punish Aca, but added, "I want to check his file."