Avance, the critically acclaimed restaurant that followed legendary Le Bec Fin at 1523 Walnut Street, is set to close on Oct. 11th. How does a restaurant head by two Michelin star rated chef Justin Bogle close after just 10 months? In short, it looks like eye-poppingly high rent was a major factor. According to Michael Klein of The Insider, court documents show that Bogle & crew were renting the famed space for $28,000 a month.
Bogle told The Insider that Avance "required 120 patrons a night to be sustainable" and investors have set the last night of service for Oct. 11. It's been a dramatic time for Avance since its opening in December. Georges Perrier, who used to own the famed space but put it up as collateral for Table 31, was the owner when Bogle signed on but lost the building in a sheriff's sale to WA Financial Partners LP (and Pearl Properties). Klein reported in June that the new landlords of 1523 Walnut St. were trying to evict the restaurant for unpaid rent.
Bogle was excited to give the former Le Bec Fin space a new look and life when it finally opened in December 2013. In an effort to redefine fine dining, Avance swapped out the white tables cloths, ornate chandeliers and French cuisine for an American restaurant wrapped in dark tones, cushioned high-back chairs and wood grains. He told Eater Philly in August 2013:
"We're trying to get as far away from Le Bec Fin as possible, and not for any other reason than that we're doing our own thing," Bogle said. "That was his restaurant, Georges Perrier's restaurant. It even got a second chance and that didn't work out. This is completely different. And we can't wait to show it all to Philadelphia."
Plans for the space are unknown and Klein suggests that a retailer could afford the high rents.
· Avance to close [The Insider]
· Georges Perrier Loses Le Bec-Fin Building in Sheriff's Sale (But It May All Be Part of an Elaborate Plan) [UPDATED] [foobooz]