Momofuku permanently closes 2 restaurants due to coronavirus

In this Thursday, Nov. 10, 2011 photo, chef David Chang is seen during an interview at Momofuku Noodle Bar in New York. Still only in his 30s, Chang, the son of Korean immigrants, has built a growing restaurant empire. (AP Photo/Diane Bondareff)

Popular restaurant group Momofuku is permanently closing its two restaurants, Nishi and CCDC, due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Nishi, in New York City, served Italian fare and CCDC in Washington, DC, was known for Asian dishes and both of them is the part of Momofuku group. Marguerite Mariscal, Momofuku’s CEO, said businesses were already on thin ice, noting that restrictions imposed such as social distance had a devastating effect. “Neither restaurant had enough cushion to sustain the shock of this crisis,” wrote Momofuku CEO Marguerite Mariscal in a post on Wednesday. “We investigated every scenario to make the math work — negotiating with our landlords, changing the service model, and more — but with increased investments in health and safety, huge reopening expenses, and the lack of rent relief, the financial picture of these wholly-owned restaurants no longer made sense.” Mariscal also underlined that the margins of Nishi and CCDC were particularly challenging. In addition to closing the two restaurants, Momofuku is moving its Ssäm Bar in New York City’s East Village to Wayō’s, in South Street Seaport, and combining the staff.