Donald Trump believes he’s making the economy great again, but his own Trump Organization properties somehow keep falling through the cracks. Chicago’s Trump Tower is about to be the president’s latest building to have a high-profile eatery go AWOL. Chicago magazine reports that on April 28, its acclaimed two-Michelin-star restaurant Sixteen (named for the floor it’s on) will serve its final $245 tasting menu. After that, it will temporarily shut down for a period of time so it can “re-concept.”
Why would a highly regarded restaurant (the Chicago Tribune awarded it four stars) serving tried-and-true New American cuisine in the Heartland decide to do that? One reason may be a precipitous decline in business: According to employees who spoke to Eater Chicago, the closure comes on the heels of months of lagging sales that reportedly have fallen as much as 40 percent on the weekdays. Employees say the Trump name “appears [to have] affected business,” much like it did at the now closed Koi that was inside the Trump Soho. The “Trump” was also scrubbed off that hotel, which was renamed the Dominick. (Incidentally, Sixteen also lost its longtime award-winning chef Thomas Lents last January, when a certain someone took elected office.)
According to current executive chef Nick Dostal, this revamp has been in the works for months: He explains the space is more than ten years old, and the feeling was it’s needed a remodel “for a long time.” The plan is to make Sixteen’s successor “more accessible” to “general diners.” Dostal says they don’t have a new name yet, but he assures the restaurant’s old fans none of the “important things” are changing.