In Greenwich, L’escale closes as the Delamar Hotel hires its chef for a new restaurant

The port spot is not a victim of the COVID-induced closures and business is strong, said L’escale owner Rick Wahlsted. Instead, L’escale was not offered a renewal of its lease for the space at the luxury Delamar hotel.

Greenwich Hospitality Group founder and CEO Charles Mallory said his company, which owns and operates the Delamar, will maintain the vision that conceived L’escale 25 years ago while refreshing the restaurant space. Chef Frederic Kieffer will continue to lead the dining experience in a new hotel restaurant.

“But it will basically be the exact same staff, same feeling and same menu,” Mallory said.

Wahlsted believes the Delamar did not offer a lease renewal due to a business opportunity, adding that he always paid rent on time.

“It seems to me that the hotel hopes to improve its performance and benefit from the success of L’escale,” he said.

“Obviously I was very disappointed that we couldn’t extend or renew our lease at Delamar. I didn’t expect that,” he said. “As you know, we have been here for 20 years. We have become a bit of an institution in the community.

Mallory offered to take over management of L’escale, keeping the name and location, and to pay Wahlsted for the rights.

Greenwich Hospitality Group operates restaurants attached to its other boutique hotels. Mallory said hotel guests and event planners have a better experience when dealing with one management company for the hotel and restaurant.

“We do a great job on things like room service and breakfast, which aren’t necessarily what a restaurateur spends time and effort on because they’re not cost effective,” he said. declared. “But it’s a hotel; people expect good room service and they expect good breakfast.

The name L’escale belongs to Wahlsted, so Mallory is working on a new identifier for this iconic Greenwich spot on the water. He said it would reflect the south of France.

Meanwhile, Wahlsted searches for a new home for L’escale. He said he was looking for a property in or near Greenwich, preferably also on the waterfront.

L’escale’s 20-year lease expires at the end of the year.

Customers won’t notice a difference as L’escale prepares to vacate its space at 500 Steamboat Road. “We’re going to be better than ever,” Wahlsted said.

Staff will serve a 20-year celebratory menu through the end of the year, featuring guest favorites from the past two decades.

“We’re going to continue what we’ve been doing for 20 years and try to be a big part of the community,” he said.

“We will build for the future. And, you know, when one door closes, another opens,” Wahlsted said. “L’escale is a fantastic restaurant with a great design, and we will find a new home.”

He said he was grateful for the loyalty of his customers from Greenwich and beyond in County Fairfield. Updates will be posted on L’escale’s social media channels, he said.

Delamar Hotel plans to open its new restaurant in the spring of 2023.

annelise.hanshaw@hearstmediact.com


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Sandy A. Greer