What happened to the Aviary NYC?

Answered by Brandon Riddell

The Aviary NYC, along with its sister establishment The Office, both luxury cocktail bars operated by the renowned Chicago-based restaurant group Alinea, have made the unfortunate decision to permanently close their doors. This news comes as a surprise to many, especially considering the mixed reviews that these establishments received during their time in New York.

As a sommelier and brewer, I have always been intrigued by the concept of The Aviary and The Office. The avant-garde approach to and the luxurious ambiance were elements that piqued my interest. However, it seems that the New York audience did not fully embrace these concepts, leading to their ultimate demise.

Alinea co-founder and restaurateur Nick Kokonas has confirmed the closure, emphasizing that this decision was not a result of the ongoing pandemic. It is indeed unfortunate that these establishments could not find their footing and thrive in the highly competitive and ever-evolving New York dining scene.

While I have not personally experienced The Aviary NYC or The Office, I can empathize with the challenges faced by restaurants and bars in a city as demanding as New York. The expectations are high, and the competition is fierce. It takes much more than just a unique concept and exquisite beverages to succeed in such an environment.

Perhaps the mixed reviews were a contributing factor to the closure of The Aviary NYC and The Office. In a city where word-of-mouth and critical acclaim can make or break a business, it is essential to create an experience that resonates with the discerning palates and preferences of New Yorkers.

It is worth noting that The Aviary and The Office have had considerable success in their original location in Chicago. The Alinea Group is known for its innovative approach to dining and has received numerous accolades for its flagship restaurant Alinea. However, the New York market proved to be a different challenge altogether.

In a city known for its iconic cocktail bars and speakeasies, standing out and capturing the attention of the sophisticated clientele can be a daunting task. The Aviary NYC and The Office may have struggled to find their niche in a city that already offers a plethora of options for cocktail enthusiasts.

It is always disheartening to hear about the closure of any establishment, especially those that strive to bring something unique and exciting to the culinary landscape. The Aviary NYC and The Office will undoubtedly be missed by those who appreciated their creativity and craftsmanship.

This news serves as a reminder that even the most esteemed and successful restaurant groups can face challenges when expanding into new markets. The closure of The Aviary NYC and The Office should not overshadow the accomplishments of Alinea and its continued success in Chicago.

As a sommelier and brewer, I can only hope that the closure of The Aviary NYC and The Office will lead to new opportunities and endeavors for the talented individuals who were part of these establishments. It is through failure and adversity that we often find the motivation to create something even more exceptional.

The closure of The Aviary NYC and The Office is a disappointing development in the New York dining scene. While the exact reasons for their closure may be complex and multifaceted, it is clear that they were unable to capture the hearts and palates of the discerning New York clientele. The city's competitive nature and the high expectations of its residents can be unforgiving, even to establishments with a strong reputation.