Just months after opening, Tom Colicchio’s Crafted Hospitality group has changed the name of its newest restaurant, saying the original moniker had potentially racist connotations.
What began in October as Fowler & Wells in the recently renovated Beekman hotel in lower Manhattan has become Temple Court, the company confirmed Wednesday.
The original name came from offices that were in the building in the mid-1800s. The name referred to a pair of publishers and phrenologists.
“Using their names for my newest restaurant was a way to link us to the location’s past,” said Colicchio in a statement.
Later, however, Colicchio realized the company’s research into the names had been incomplete.
A review in The New York Times noted that phrenology, or the study of the skull, has in the past promoted the idea that skull shape revealed characteristics like mental aptitude and personality. The notion has been used to justify slavery and racial inequality.
Colicchio said such beliefs “go against everything we stand for, both personally and as a company. With this information in hand, we decided to change the name of our restaurant to Temple Court, the original name of The Beekman’s historic building.”
No other changes were made to the restaurant, which is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, with weekend brunch coming this fall, the company said.
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