City Hall Restaurant Is Closing

City Hall RestaurantSome sad news in the New York Times today:

After 18 years, Henry Meer will close his Tribeca restaurant [City Hall], which became a den for judges and lawyers from the nearby courts. The last day will be Dec. 31. In a career shift this spring, he will open Lore Wine & Spirits on the lower level of Westfield World Trade Center, the new retail and dining complex in Lower Manhattan.

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  1. I visited this establishment last month with my nephew.
    We had eaten here previously (and he had his wedding reception there five years ago) when I last visited from London. On the last occasion, I submitted a review to Tripadvisor suggesting that all was not well with this venerable eatery. Shame. It will be missed.
    Tribeca has as many restaurants as there are days in the year. Anybody coming in HAS to be special and maintain standards. It’s simply not enough to charge mad prices and have slapdash service. Tribecans (hopefully) have more sense than to put up with a terminal case and can smell the rot…

  2. sorry to see them go. their fine food and kid friendly attitude will be missed.

  3. I will miss City Hall. I have NEVER had a bad meal and Henry always made a point to stop by to chat and usually treated the family to an extra treat. We will be stopping by to pay our last respects. It’s where my kids discovered Filet Mignon! Not sure I should thank him for that though!

  4. Another great restaurant saying goodbye. Had many amazing meals and cocktails sitting outside. So sad to see them go!

  5. I’m curious whether the shutting down is related to the filming moratorium on that block of Duane Street.

  6. So happy to have had the pleasure of dining at City Hall Restaurant these past 20+ years. Henry has always been a strong, smiling influence on our son Kyle. Henry has always been generous with his time and resources. He’s opened his doors & kitchen to our 1st graders to allow them to see how restaurants work, been home to P.S. 150’s auction, has VERY generously donated Chef’s Dinners for as many as 8 guests to our auction over the years and has been a long time participant in Taste of Tribeca. Henry Meer’s terrific presence and lovely restaurant will be greatly missed. Thanks for everything you’ve done for our community Henry and best of luck in everything ahead of you!

  7. Good riddance to City Hall Restaurant and its owner Henry Meer doing business in TriBeCa because Henry was part of Duane Street Realty who tried to displace all the longtime neighborhood residents of the building CHR inhabits from their eight rent regulated apartments under the guise of “gut rehab demolition” so they/Henry could turn it into a luxury co-op or hotel back in 2004. After he opened CHR in ’98 thus lived and did business in TriBeCa a whopping six years before wanting to give tenants the boot. Tenants who among legions of others including myself paved the way for his upscale restaurant to set up shop and do business here for almost two decades. The gut rehab demolition was and still is a common tactic building owners use to (try to) displace tenants who just aren’t paying high enough rent o their liking (for apartments in buildings these greedy landlords bought for a song compared to unregulated and deregulated buildings or had willed to them by Mommy and/or Daddy.) I remember what you did, Henry Meer, and I am proud to say I never stepped or will step into your restaurant. And I will boycott your new enterprise.

    Proof below. He opens his restaurant in ’98 then tells the residents of the building to get out six years later – what a neighborhood-friendly guy.

    Good riddance to a man who tried to displace or displaced people from their homes so he could make as big a buck as he could. I say “tried to displace or displaced” because I’ve been trying to find an article saying he failed or succeeded with the eviction but cannot find one.

    • Be careful what you wish for–the next owner could succeed

    • Thank you for noting this, and for stating the case so thoroughly. If you hadn’t I would have. For me it wasn’t just about Meer’s despicable ruse, but the way he talked about it publicly. His tone dripped with contempt when he said “…if THOSE people think they can live in THIS neighborhood…” (from an actual statement to ABC news during the protests against his actions). The quotes are numerous and always maintained that tenor. I’ve no idea where Meer’s money comes from, and thus, I don’t want to denigrate what may be genuine talent and ambition. But I recall his earliest days and wondered how someone with scant background could open so gloriously, so suddenly. What I’m getting at is that he strikes me as someone who came into the world privileged and deluded that he’d actually earned a higher position among the civilized. I could be wrong, but while I’m glad people have fond memories of his establishment and fare, his very mention puts a bad taste in my mouth.

      • Amen! He made Duane Street suffer by turning it into a Hollywood backlot for his almost weekly rentals of his restaurant to make up for the money he was loosing from clearly not having enough clientele for City Hall. Never once did he plant a tree or do anything to improve the street all the while making thousands of dollars while inconveniencing everyone on the street with the film crews and exhaust fumes from countless location shoots. He came into the neighborhood to make money in anyway he could including trying to evict all the long-term loft tenants as stated by other commentators. Now he’ll try to do the same in the South Street Seaport area… good riddance from Duane Street!

  8. I am one of the long time artist residents who live at 131 Duane.
    I moved here in 1973 long before Henry Meer and his partners at Duane Realty bought the building with plans to evict us. They ultimately failed, lost the case and we are still here. So about two years ago Duane Realty sold the building to an Austrian in his late twenties who immediately mounted efforts to evict us.
    We are now engaged once againin fighting efforts to dislodge us.
    Henry Meer became a renter at the point the building was sold. He is closing the restaurant because the new owner has now asked him to leave, insisted that he leave.

    • Does vacating the restaurant make a significant difference in the “gut rehab” rationale? Now they can say they are demolishing the entire interior, not just the upper floors.

      • I think that’s the rationale for insisting Henry Meer leave.

        • Such a beautiful space especially the lower level space. It was my understanding that the entire facade of the building was landmarked and because of that, a total demolition would never be an option and, therefore, total eviction was also not an option.

          • It’s correct that total demolition isn’t an option. What would have taken place, as has been done with a few buildings nearby, is that the front would have been removed, the structure would have been reworked, and the front replaced. It would almost certainly have remained residential, so it would have been just a matter of dumping the tenants along with the drywall and such, and replacing them all with newer, more highly valuated versions.

  9. Tried to shake his hand this morning and Henry Meer made an excuse for being unable to do so. First and last time I’ve met him and it reassured me of my dislike for everything this restaurant represents. Having been born at Beekman Downtown in the 80s and living my entire life thus far on Duane street, I noticed how corrupt and pompous this restaurant is/was and vowed to never give them my service. The neighborhood I knew is long gone… Sorry Donna, good luck.

  10. I tried to hug him this afternoon and Henry made every body contortion physically possible not to reciprocate. Granted I had just come from the gym and was particularly extra-sweaty and supremely stankey…and was not wearing pants. However, he’ll get a lifetime pass and my everlasting gratitude for his curry onion rings. Go forth with my best wishes and may those moochers learn to provide for themselves and their families. Trump 2016!