Bouley Bakery to Close

bouley-bakery-1-by-tribeca-citizenIt’s a surprise and it isn’t: Florence Fabricant of the New York Times reports that Bouley Bakery & Market is closing today.

bouley-bakery-3-by-tribeca-citizenbouley-bakery-2-by-tribeca-citizen“‘I’m getting out of retail,’ [David Bouley] said. ‘Running a bakery does not interest me. It takes too much of my time and energy for marginal profit. I want to devote all my energy, all my resources and ability, to making the Bouley flagship the highest culinary experience.’ And while he has abandoned his plans for a Japanese restaurant called Brushstroke on West Broadway (he said there were structural problems in the building) he will open a Japanese restaurant this fall called Boji in the former Danube and Secession space with Yoshiki Tsuji, who runs cooking schools in Japan and France.”

And then there was this:

“He said he will continue to run his test kitchen on West Broadway and Chambers Street, where he invites chefs and winemakers to do in-depth presentations and experiments, especially for Japanese ingredients and techniques. The test kitchen is a money-maker thanks to the public events that are held there, but it also provides visiting chefs with a venue to present their food. He also has a couple of banquet rooms at Bouley, a first for him, and they add substantially to the bottom line. And with an eye on the economy, in addition to his $125 prix-fixe menu at dinner, and $48 at lunch, he is introducing a $36 lunch with six courses counting the petits fours. ‘I’m still connecting the dots here,’ he said. ‘But the one thing I learned is that the market is taking too much time. I know the community loved it, loved my chickens and baked goods, but I can’t keep it up. Not everything I planned made sense.'”

There was planning? Not to be mean, because he was right in that the community did love the chickens and the baked goods, but so much about the Bouley Bakery & Market was head-scratching: The insistence on doing so much (macaroons? the steam table? the fresh fish?), the awkward physical space (that entry was like Grand Central at rush hour, but with kids), the mismanagement that made you—or at least me—vow repeatedly never to set foot inside again. (The chocolate-chip cookies kept me coming back.) It’s a shame he couldn’t try paring it down, focusing on what people needed and wanted, before shuttering it. Because in a neighborhood with RosanjinMatsugen, and Megu, not to mention Nobu and Sushi Azabu, and with foodie-favorite Soto just up Sixth Avenue, is a high-end Japanese restaurant really the smartest bet?



  1. This is incredibly sad, and yes, while the place was entirely schizophrenic, a strange hodge podge of things thrown together… I loved it. Where am I going to get last minute fresh fish from to cook for dinner – certainly not Whole Foods! So I suppose I’ll have to venture out of Tribeca now… wow I have gotten extremely lazy these days, but having everything so close is part of what I love about our neighborhood.

    And you are right about the high end Japanese overabundance – yet to be honest, now a days only a couple of the restaurants on the above list are even worth going to in Tribeca (in my opinion – Sushi Azabu and Rosanjin).

  2. I am so sad to hear this–a loss for the neighborhood. I hope a nail saloon is not opening up in that space.

  3. Why is it sad? If Bouley doesn’t want to do it, then hopefully, some who does want to make marginal profits, can come in and provide good service and quality food without its customers having to deal with poor space planning and leftover interior design from the previous restaurants, not to mention having to duck & cover to miss the baby stroller brigade running kamikaze missions through the front door.

  4. Oh that is sad. Just hope we do not get a subway or such in the space … or a starbucks or a bank !!!

  5. Sweet Jeezus! Why is everyone so sad? Whether it is Bazzini’s, Bouley Bakery, or YAFFAs….sheesh! We should expect a better selection of stores that offer friendly service, common sense lay-outs, and great products. Don’t confuse crap with charming, small mom & pops. EXPECT MORE PEOPLE!! Where’s my blood pressure medicine? I think I might have left it in one of the 100s of planters outside the 100s of Bouley restaurants. Reward if found.

  6. With ya Jim! If Bouley couldn’t make money off of that printing press maybe it’s because he can’t manage it. That place drove me nuts. Worst layout, so so food – soups were basically butter – no market ever to speak of. My friend was sold fish with WORMS in it. The dining room was filthy. The bread was good but so is Le Pain’s!

  7. I am very sorry to see Bouley Market close. I really enjoyed going there and sitting with my friends for coffee. They saved me many nights when I could stop by and grab a chicken ready to serve hungry kids as soon as I get in the door from work. The bread and pastries are great. I have also had the pleasure of working with all of Chef Bouley’s establishments for the past 6 years through Taste of Tribeca and they are the most generous, organized people year after year. An absolute pleasure to deal with. I cannot wait for his new Japanese to open.

  8. Only the chicken was good. The baked goods, hot food and salad bar were just terrible. I always wondered why a chef of Bouley’s acclaim couldn’t muster up something better or even equal to my local deli.

  9. Bouley Market was a great neighborhood place to get really good fresh fish and prepared foods like the CHICKEN! We really miss it. There is no comparable place to get fresh fish now that the Market is gone and Bazzini’s has closed. I have gotten rotten fish at Whole Foods and refuse to buy fish there now. It SUCKS!

  10. Who cares……..I agree with Jim………the place was disorganized, over priced, bad service and food not that good………in NYC we expect the best and get it……..its just a matter of time that badly run places will go out of business……… make it a great place it must be profitable too….