If acclaimed Annisa can’t survive in today’s punishing New York restaurant climate, there’s little hope for others. The New York Times reports that Anita Lo will close her 17-year-old West Village business in May because of rising costs: Her real-estate taxes increased by $80,000 within the last two years, and the new $15 minimum-wage law is another significant added cost. Annisa is one of those restaurants that falls right between being a neighborhood spot and a special-occasion place, and raising menu prices resulted in the loss of a quarter of its nightly clientele.
Annisa has consistently received stellar reviews, and when a kitchen fire wrecked the restaurant in 2009, Lo rebuilt the restaurant stronger than ever; it was just two years ago that Times critic Pete Wells awarded it three stars. In 2015, Lo became the first woman invited to collaborate with the White House on a state dinner.
Closing Annisa will leave Lo without a restaurant. She says that’s she going to take a break, and also write a cookbook, but hopefully this isn’t the end of her tenure as a chef in New York. Her presence will be deeply missed.