Eater’s 2017 Restaurant of the Year Bar Normandy will close down after service next Saturday, September 8. Chef/owner Alex Lira said that the owners of the Jacobson building, which houses the eatery on the first floor, told him he could no longer cook in the evenings and gave him a week’s notice to evacuate. The owners were not available for comment when Eater called.
While Bar Normandy will be no more, the Normandy Farm Bakery will continue at 19 Broad St. during the day with coffee and sandwiches.
Lira said that everything must go in the next seven days, and he plans to be “extremely generous.” He wants it to be a week-long party with the staff of Bar Normandy. “It’s never been about the food or the space,” said Lira, “It’s always been about the staff and the customers hanging out like old friends.” He credited Mike Ray, Philip Cohen, Philip Lawrence, Sarah Song, Terri Henning, and Brandon Underwood for making Bar Normandy great.
Lira will take a vacation before starting a new project in Charleston. He also says that Normandy Farm Bakery owner Mike Ray told him he has the freedom to work from the West Ashley kitchen if any events come up in between gigs.
So, get to 19 Broad St. to say farewell to the staff, the thoughtful plates, chili dogs, and funky playlists before next Saturday.
UPDATE: The owner of the building Mike Jacobson sent along the following note to Eater:
Thank you for the opportunity to set the record straight. The lease at 19 Broad Street is between us and Normandy Farms Bakery, not Normandy Bar or Alex Lira.
Normandy Farms Bakery, our tenant, continues to fulfill and live up to the terms of our lease agreement.
Alex Lira’s operation has done so well it has outgrown the infrastructure of our historic 225-year-old building. Our building simply cannot support the operation of a full service restaurant.
Mike’s son Joseph Jacobson (also a chef) reached out to Eater as well to say that since the restaurant didn’t have a grease trap or a hood, cooking at Bar Normandy’s volume was wrecking the plumbing and HVAC at 19 Broad St. He stated, “My parents are the landlords and have not evicted anyone — they just have to make sure their tenants are compliant with the law.” He reiterated that the lease was with Normandy Farm Bakery — not with Bar Normandy.
• Bar Normandy Makes It Work ‘Doing Something Weird’ [ECHS]
• 19 Broad [Official]