After a friend and I got bounced from Westlight thanks to a Master of None shoot, we thought, fine, we’ll just find another Williamsburg rooftop bar. We ended up at ESH, Ilan Hall’s spot atop the Urban Outfitters. Turns out we were probably the very last people to eat there, because the Israeli barbecue spot quietly ended dinner service last night. The dining room is now closed and the rooftop bar will remain open for just a little while longer, according to a bartender.
Hall told us business just wasn’t as good as it needed to be. When he opened the place in June of 2014 as an offshoot of his popular Los Angeles spot The Gorbals, the former Top Chef told us he wasn’t surprised UO was hitting Williamsburg with a concept shop and name-brand restaurant: “I mean, c’mon, there’s a J.Crew opening around the corner, there’s a Whole Foods [coming] here. Not to mention the fact that you can get an apartment here that’s not very big for $2 million.” But last night Hall, who is also the host of Esquire’s Knife Fight, pointed at the luxury buildings surrounding the rooftop bar and said none of them were filled. The restaurant just didn’t get enough traffic from Williamsburg residents, and tourists mostly preferred to stay and eat in Manhattan.
If Aziz Ansari and Eric Wareheim are planning to stop by one of their food club’s favorite spots while they’re filming in town, they’re outta luck.