Another one bites the dust. It’s been a big year for restaurant closings thanks to massive Manhattan rent hikes — Union Square Cafe and wd~50 face impending shutters, and today brings word that Jimmy Bradley’s beloved Tribeca restaurant The Harrison (355 Greenwich Street, 212-274-9310) will close after the holidays; it’s being pushed out because it won’t be able to afford the lease once this term expires.
The Harrison has had a major impact on dining in this city, not least because it was the first restaurant to open in Tribeca after 9-11 — Bradley was in the middle of training his staff when the twin towers came down. “We thought about not doing it for a while, not opening ever, but we looked at the concept — it was a neighborhood restaurant,” he told us a few months back. “And it seemed that perhaps now, more so than ever, it was time for a neighborhood restaurant in Tribeca. If it goes out of business, those are terms you can learn to live with. Even our guests had to show ID to get to the restaurant, at least until the new year. The air was different. It was not pleasant. It was full of rock dust, the smell of electricity, the smell of fossil fuel. But the weather was spectacular. I was pretty amazed to get guests, and we managed to stay in business.” (Bradley’s full interview is worth a read if you want to get a sense of the restaurant’s history.)
Over time, The Harrison became a neighborhood staple, and one of the city’s most fertile training grounds: Bradley brought a number of chefs up through his kitchen, where he encouraged them to explore their passions and learn the business. Notable chefs to have passed through include Top Chef Harold Dieterle (Kin Shop, Perilla), Chopped judge Amanda Freitag (Empire Diner), Joey Campanaro (Little Owl, Market Table, The Clam), and Mike Price (Market Table, The Clam). “They [Bradley and Campanaro] really empowered me to run the business,” Dieterle told us in October. Price also remembered his time at The Harrison as formative when we interviewed him shortly after he opened The Clam.
We named The Harrison one of our 99 Essential Restaurants in Lower Manhattan for what it’s contributed to the dining culture here, and we noted that “this is a great place to start dinner with a martini before ambling over to the sizable and well-curated wine list; it’s also one of our favorite spots for a working lunch, especially during the warm months, when we can enjoy toasted couscous and farro salad on the patio.” Not to mention the duck schmaltz fries that launched a trend.
We’ll be very sad to see it go.