Since Election Day, there's been much speculation around what president-elect Donald Trump will mean for the restaurant industry, a community built largely on the strength of women, immigrants, and people of color. Still, it seems some Manhattan restaurants don't need to wait until January to see how Trump's policies will affect business—his presence alone is already throwing a wrench in the works.
On Friday, David Chang, the owner of the Momofuku restaurant group, took to Twitter to comment on how the added security around Trump Tower has killed foot traffic to local businesses in Midtown.
Though Chang made his name in the East Village with Momofuku Noodle Bar, as his empire has expanded over years, his company has opened three outposts in the Chambers Hotel on West 56th Street: Má Pêche, Fuku+, and Milk Bar. On November 12, during the fourth night of anti-Trump protests, Chang closed Fuku+, while Má Pêche announced that it would be taking reservation only, and not accepting walk-ins. Still, Chang isn't blaming demonstrators, instead directing his ire toward the NYPD and Secret Service details assigned to protect the president-elect.
As Gothamist notes, restaurants around 56th Street aren't likely to see their foot traffic return anytime soon. Mayor Bill de Blasio has said that the added security measures will stay in place until Inauguration Day on January 9. Plus, Trump plans to spend weekends at at his Midtown skyscraper once taking the White House, while Melania will live in Trump Tower with their son, Barron, until the end of the school year.
In the days following Trump's victory over Hillary Clinton, Chang hasn't be shy about voicing his opinions on the state of the union. Hours after the election, the chef tweeted that "North Korea never looked so good."
Please, don't leave us, Dave.