November 7, 2016

When Trendy Kosher Restaurants Close

“It just won’t be the same without Pardes,” a close friend opined when he heard that the trendy kosher restaurant located in Downtown Brooklyn had closed. Chef Moses Wendel was a genius when it came to menu innovation and presentation, which earned him instant fame in the constant move to upscale in the kosher restaurant business. To a lesser extent the closing of Prime Burger on Avenue J after a much shorter stint was also mourned by some but nowhere to the extent that Pardes was. To be sure, there are several new “trendy” kosher restaurants in Brooklyn including the new familiar brand of Dougie’s on the ever-changing kosher restaurant scene on Avenue J.

Some bloggers opined that while kosher dining continues to go upscale, there may be less room for the “trendy” restaurants that buck the trend of simply good food. In other words, to them the demise of Pardes is a signal for the entire industry. But in truth I am seeing the opposite, especially in some of the new restaurants like Bison & Bourbon. The restaurant industry is notorious for being a revolving door and kosher is no exception but to be fair there is much to celebrate for kosher diners. Let’s be clear: The trend towards trendier kosher restaurants is safe and secure!