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A Legendary NYC Restaurant is Closing Without Warning

But you still have a few days to dine there!

If you've always dreamed of eating at David Chang's legendary Momofuku Ko, we have some bad news, with a slight silver lining. The bad news is that, after years of operating in New York City, the restaurant has just announced that it'll be closing its doors for good. The silver lining? You have one more week to snag a table and taste the menu items that kicked off a fine dining revolution that Chang is credited for.

In a statement released to the public, Momofuku Ko revealed that it's permanently shuttering on Nov. 8. Customers will have to say goodbye to its counter-service tasting menu after 15 years, nine of which were spent at the current East Village location.

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"The culinary world is much different than it was 20 years ago [when Momofuku began]," said the restaurant's statement, referencing the very first Momofuku eatery—its Noodle Bar—which launched in 2004. "We can't wait to show you the places we have in development. In many ways, we're heading back to where it all began with Noodle Bar, doubling down on heart and energy and eye-opening flavors."

Momofuku Ko first opened in 2008 and set the restaurant scene ablaze with its break from fine dining tradition, serving high-end ingredients like foie gras and caviar in irreverent, artistic dishes. It also put the spotlight on its chefs, with seats facing an open kitchen where customers could watch them work. A year after opening, the restaurant was awarded two Michelin stars and named Best New Restaurant by the James Beard Foundation, two massive accomplishments that are not typically bestowed on establishments with cramped counter seating, low lights, and loud music. 

In its current form, Ko offers the option of enjoying the full, 10-course tasting menu, parceled out over the course of three hours at the price of $280 per guest. Customers can also sample items a la carte at the bar, where the dishes that made Ko famous, like cold fried chicken with caviar and ranch dressing and Chicken Katsu sandwiches with foie gras, are still available to this day. 

The news of Ko closing comes on the heels of another one of Chang's Momofuku locations shutting down: the Ssäm Bar, which closed its doors on Sept. 30.

Ahead of Ko's closure on Nov. 4, creator David Chang personally stopped by to let the staff know about this momentous shift. 

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"The funny thing is—I don't even know if you guys know this—we never even wanted to have a fancy restaurant," Chang told the restaurant staff, per Grub Street. "The original version of Ko was a $75 tasting menu. I didn't open Momofuku to get glory or to have a sommelier."

It's exactly this casual approach combined with high-end ingredients (and impossible-to-get reservations) that made Momofuku so unique in its inception, and you still have until next Saturday to sample Ko's dishes and revel in the culinary innovation that led to Momofuku's Milk Bar, Bang Bar, and its nationwide product line. 

As a company, Momofuku continues to expand, and we'll no doubt see new iterations of the growing brand in the coming months. But Ko was a classic for a reason, and its impact on the NYC dining scene can't be overstated. For lifetime bragging rights of "I was there when…," stop by Momofuku Ko this week and go for the foie gras one last time.

Louisa Ballhaus
Louisa is a culture writer and author from New York City covering entertainment, celebrity, and lifestyle content for outlets like Cosmopolitan and Bustle. Read more about Louisa