Gotan was ready to open; now it is boarded up

Arnon Magal wrote just days ago — on June 1 — to say that Gotan was back open for the first time since mid-March, and that he and his partners were “beyond happy to be back.” Now the cafe on the corner of Franklin and Varick is boarded up and they are hoping they can start the whole process again in a few days.

Way back on Monday he reflected on the moment he first saw the space six years ago, when it was still Pecan: “I stood at the door and was just in disbelief. I had to do it there. And I’m so happy we did. It is a unique space in a unique spot in a unique neighborhood. We are very very lucky to be able to run this concept where it is!”

Last week in preparation, they hired back their staff, deep cleaned the space, ordered new uniforms and restocked the restaurant. They sanitized and arranged their outdoor tables, which the city permits on the restaurant’s premises. And 48 hours later they boarded it all up along with their other three locations.

Yesterday Arnon left this note on Facebook: “I support the cause. I truly hope George Floyd did not die in vain. I hope protests won’t fade until police brutality ends. But I also make a very clear distinction between protesting vs looting and violence. How in the hell does looting retail stores and damaging properties serve the cause? We are four partners who own Gotan. One of us is a very proud African American woman. We were all very excited for this day. We were all hoping we would wake up to a better world. We still do.”


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“One more time..” such an amazing team we got. Gotan Tribeca just receive an A grade fifth year in a row…

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  1. If the past two months, the past week does not get folks out to vote, nothing will. Prove that vote by mail (or online!) works. Link here.

  2. Heartbreaking for NYC business especially mom and pop shops. I am on the border of Tribeca and Chinatown and for the past two weeks Chinatown shops slowly reopened preparing for the new normal but now they are all boarded up. Very depressing. Tragic many black lives are lost. I really hope the peaceful protests will bring reforms and changes.

  3. Heartbreaking too is the fact that over 100,000 funerals have been held the past few months and people have not been able to go to their own family members funerals because attendance was capped due to COVID. George Floyd is getting three funerals and memorial services and they are expected to have tens of thousands of attendees including Biden. Political & media figures making social justice exceptions to their COVID mitigation restrictions, which have been quite harsh in many cases, profoundly undermine public trust. The virus either justifies the extreme measures or it doesn’t. Seeing public health experts and elected officials claiming “white supremacy was the real virus all along” in order to justify endorsing actions which blatantly undermine everything they’ve advocated for the past 3 months is outrageous. 42 million people have lost their jobs because these same experts and elected officials demanded an immediate and months-long cessation of group gatherings.

  4. Makes you wonder if it’s all about the politics…only…