When Dennis Foy returned to his eponymous Tribeca restaurant last month from his seasonal restaurant in Bayhead, New Jersey, his tables were empty. His moneyed Wall Street clientele has vanished like Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers. “Very interesting thing about wealth,” Foy notes, “They’re the first ones that tighten the belt buckle.” So Foy sat down with his accountant and did some math — What was his bottom line? What could he do to save? — then slashed some prices. Yesterday, he reopened with a price structure tailored to the lousiest of economies: A $27 fixed cost for any appetizer and entrée combination.
It costs Foy $27 a head to break even, and that’s all he wants to do these days. Foy calls his combo “the steal of the century,” and maybe it is — not only did Esquire name Dennis Foy a “Best New Restaurant” in 2006, but it used to charge $28 for a cut of sirloin alone. “We’re still going to do red snapper, we’re still going to do Tian of crab, we’re still going to do all those dishes,” Foy says. “But the price point will be different because it just doesn’t make sense not to make the change in this market.”