The popular speculation once had been that New York City landmarks, at face of an impending recession, would be among the lucky institutions to survive the economic storm. Today the speculation would be at odds to muster even anemic support.
Over the weekend, citing the recession as its executioner, the famed Rainbow Grill announced its departure from 30 Rockefeller Plaza. Although the 75–year–old Rainbow Room will continue on with cocktails and banquet affairs, the Rainbow Grill is expected to shutter as immediately as Jan. 12.
“It’s a very difficult decision to make, given the sort of status of the Rainbow Room as one of these quote-unquote New York City icons,” said Ben Branham, a spokesman for the operators, the Cipriani restaurant empire. “The move is made, definitely, as one of protecting the venue.”
There is no timeline on how long or if this move is permanent. Last summer the Cipriani family presented a motive to establish the Rainbow Room as a historic landmark in order to prevent the space from being renovated into offices.
Spokespeople for the building’s landlord, Tishman Speyer, have repeatedly denied such plans.