A week after Sweetiepie posted a note on its door informing passersby it had closed because of a fire, it looks like that wasn’t exactly the case. A now former employee of the Greenwich Avenue restaurant told Grub Street that it actually closed because of significant debts owed to vendors and laid off its employees, who are still owed a week’s pay. Some of those employees reportedly filed a complaint with the labor board on Monday.
Sweetiepie began life in 2008 as the vanity project of Luke and Julie Janklow, a disposably incomed couple who fretted that there were no child-friendly restaurants in their West Village neighborhood. And so they built a place where the mommy-and-me crowd could scarf down caviar omelets and $75 ice cream sundaes.
Alpha-matrons like Gwyneth Paltrow and Mary-Louise Parker frequented the place, which had a giant birdcage. In late June, Ryan Skeen was brought on board to consult on the menu, much as he had previously done at 5 & Diamond. And, just like at 5 & Diamond, it seems like things subsequently went south. There’s a possibility that Sweetiepie may reopen, but for the time being it’s choking down a very bitter pill.