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Gael Greene & Keith McNally Confirm Pastis Is Closing, Clear Up Balthazar Rumors

The one thing we’ve learned from Gael Greene’s errant rumor last week: Keith McNally knows how to reprimand reporters. Now, we can confirm that Pastis is actually closing, but only temporarily due to construction. So, we’ve learned two things.

Lesson number one comes straight from Greene’s newsletter Fork Play (see what she did there?): real estate gossip isn’t always what it appears to be. Apparently Greene heard that the owners of 9 Ninth Avenue, where Pastis is located, would be closing — and McNally’s restaurant along with it. Somehow that translated to Balthazar closing as well, but McNally confirmed that Pastis was temporarily shuttering for nine months so the owners could add three floors.

Lesson number two: Keith McNally is good at gentle shaming. Observe a master at work:

“Say it isn’t so Keith,” I’d tweeted.

Sure enough, he responded.  “Where on earth did you come up with this story about Balthazar closing?  Did you really want to spread panic amongst my staff? Much easier (and more sensible), surely, to check with me before publishing something untrue.”

I love that he closed his shout of annoyance with a friendly sign off, ”Apart from that, I hope all’s well. All The Best, Keith.” He was in the new London Balthazar, about to start the dinner service, he noted.

It’s like a slap-hug, or a punch-kiss, or receiving this letter followed by a loving back-massage. At the very least, it’s a good signal that Balthazar is doing quite fine, haters.

[Fork Play via Gael Greene]

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