Today, the branch of the sushi empire Koi located in New York’s SoHo neighborhood announced that it will be closing. Grub Street, which broke the news, describes Koi as “an international chainlet of sushi spots for beautiful people” that is “popular with celebrities and professional athletes.” This made it a perfect fit for the building that houses it—the Trump SoHo New York.
Now we get to the obvious question. Is there any connection between the closing of Koi, in Trump SoHo, and the fact that the owner of Trump SoHo, Donald Trump, is the historically despised president of the United States. The answer? Duh!!!!!
Said Suzanne Chou, general counsel of Koi Group, to Grub Street:
“Obviously, the restaurant is closing because business is down. I don’t think anyone would volunteer to close a business if they were making money,” Suzanne Chou, Koi Group’s general counsel, says with a laugh. “Beyond that, I would prefer not to speculate as to why, but obviously since the election it’s gone down.”
An employee of the restaurant was even more pointed in his assessment:
“Before Trump won we were doing great. There were a lot of people we had, our regulars, who’d go to the hotel but are not affiliated with Trump,” says Jonathan Grullon, a busser and host who has worked at the restaurant for a year and a half. “And they were saying if he wins, we are not coming here anymore.”
The point of Donald Trump, so we’re told, is that his mere name connotes such enviable wealth and legacy that his businesses are self-sustaining off that alone, so irresistible to the people as to be magnetic. Maybe that’s true at Mar-a-Lago, but it certainly doesn’t appear to be flying in New York City, where Trump was trounced in the election, and where citizens have staged weekly protests as owners of apartment buildings remove his name in the hopes that residents will feel morally okay renting there.
Of course, some new restauranteur will move into Koi’s place at Trump SoHo, and will run their business in a way that is attuned to a reality in which New Yorkers purposefully choose not to give money to Donald Trump, and will probably do just fine. In the end, the grift continues on.