Trois Mec — the fine-dining Los Angeles restaurant from celebrity chef Ludo LeFebvre — has closed for good due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Citing “financial difficulties” of running an upscale restaurant with limited seating during COVID-19, Trois Mec partner Krissy Lefebvre confirmed to the Los Angeles Times that the 24-seat tasting restaurant will not be reopening after it was closed temporarily on March 18.
“Sadly, the restaurant is closing for good,” Lefebvre told the Los Angeles Times. “The reality is that this is not going away any time soon.”
Trois Mec opened in 2013 in partnership with Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo and received its first Michelin star in 2019, along with a Best New Restaurant nod from the James Beard Foundation. Although many fine-dining restaurants have pivoted over the past few months to make up for closed dining rooms with delivery, meal kits, private events, and auctions, Trois Mec did not make any investments in to-go experiences.
“Unfortunately, Trois Mec is not a to-go experience,” Lefebvre said. “Outdoor dining requires a significant investment to be Michelin-star dining and it just didn’t make sense. The resources are not there and the investment is too risky.”
In an Instagram post, chef Ludo LeFebvre wrote that the physical space and concept of their restaurant was just not cut out for operations in the time of social distancing.
"I realized back when social distancing guidelines were issued for the brief return to indoor dining that a restaurant with 4 tables and 8 bar seats was just not going to work," he wrote. "There was zero way to make the business model work with 2 tables and a maximum of 2 parties of 2 at opposite ends of the chef's counter. In 2013 the intent of the concept of Trois Mec was to make people feel like they were sitting in my kitchen and experiencing the meal I decided to cook that night. I wanted everyone to feel like one big family, guests and staff alike. COVID-19 has changed everything and there is still such an unknown period ahead of us."
As for what's next for his brand, LeFebvre said that although he does not think "anyone can predict what the next six or 12 months will llook like for restaurants and small businesses" that he hopes to maintain the restaurant space. For now, the space of the closed restaurant will still be used to help donate meals to José Andrés’ World Central Kitchen, even though it will no longer be open to the public.
Trois Mec’s sister restaurant next door, casual French bistro Petite Trois, will still continue to offer takeout, but the future of that restaurant remains uncertain too. Just two years ago, Ludo LeFebvre had noted that he wanted to expand Trois Mec’s casual counterpart to other parts of California and possibly Denver.
"I hope [...] to one day extend the original Petit Trois into the Trois Mec space as an additional dining room, but nothing is guaranteed," LeFebvre said in the Instagram post that also served as a farewell to team members and guests.
The news comes on the heels of Calif. Gov. Gavin Newsom shutting indoor dining down again statewide as the state fights off a surge in COVID-19 cases.
Trois Mec joins a growing list of other fine-dining COVID-19 causalities, including Gotham Bar & Grill in New York City, Blackbird in Chicago, and David Chang’s Momofuku Nishi, Ssäm Bar (in New York City) and CCDC (in Washington, D.C.).
Representatives from Trois Mec did not respond in time to request for additional comment.
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