The restaurant industry is a tough business, with fierce competition and ever-changing consumer preferences. In this landscape, Keith McNally, the renowned restaurateur, has managed to achieve great success with his restaurant, Balthazar. McNally claims that business is booming at Balthazar, and the restaurant continues to attract a steady stream of patrons. However, while Balthazar thrives, McNally’s other famed French eatery, Pastis, seems to be facing some challenges.
According to insiders, McNally’s involvement with Pastis is not what it seems. Contrary to popular belief, he is not an owner of the restaurant since its relaunch in 2019. Instead, McNally is said to be a consultant, primarily responsible for the design aspect of the restaurant. This arrangement also applies to Pastis’ Miami, Fla., location. Stephen Starr, another renowned restaurateur, is the one who signs the checks, distancing Pastis from McNally. The reasons behind this distancing seem to stem from McNally’s controversial remarks on social media.
The Fallout from McNally’s Controversial Remarks
McNally’s involvement in controversial discussions surrounding the Hamas attacks on Israel has caused a rift between him and Starr. After McNally posted incendiary remarks about the attacks, he made matters worse by posting even more inflammatory comments. In response, Starr made it clear that his restaurants, including Upland and Le Coucou, do not share McNally’s opinions. Starr condemned the attacks and expressed solidarity with Israel and the Jewish people. The fallout from McNally’s remarks has resulted in a loss of business and a tarnished reputation.
Following the backlash, McNally issued an apology, claiming that he had never recognized nor supported Hamas. He labeled the organization as a terrorist group. However, his actions seemed contradictory when he reposted his initial message and complained about the negative impact it had on his business. Despite the controversy, McNally insists that he is still involved with Pastis and is even working on designing and building further locations in Washington D.C., Nashville, and Philadelphia.
The controversy surrounding McNally’s remarks and his involvement with Pastis raises questions about the future of both the restaurant and the restaurateur. McNally’s reputation has taken a hit, and it remains to be seen whether he can bounce back from this setback. As for Pastis, the distancing from McNally indicates a desire to disassociate the restaurant from the controversy. It is unclear how this will affect Pastis’ reputation and customer base in the long run.
In the highly competitive world of restaurants, creating and maintaining a positive image is crucial for success. Keith McNally, with his success at Balthazar and his involvement with Pastis, seemed to have a good handle on this. However, his controversial remarks and the fallout that followed have revealed a different side of McNally. Now, the future of both McNally and Pastis hangs in the balance as they navigate the consequences of this controversy. Only time will tell if they can recover and restore their reputations in the restaurant industry.