Clyde Frazier has shuttered his Hell’s Kitchen restaurant. “Thank you for your patronage throughout the years and to ARK Restaurants for creating Clyde Frazier’s Wine and Dine,” he said on Twitter on Tuesday. “The restaurant is permanently closed. It was wonderful ‘meeting and greeting’ with you for over 9 years.”
The New York Knicks basketball legend was forced to close the restaurant as financial losses mounted during the pandemic. “Clyde’s amazing. If it wasn’t for him as a person, we probably would’ve closed it earlier,” Michael Weinstein, a partner in the business with Frazier as CEO of ARK Restaurants, told the New York Daily News. “We were just waiting for some sort of indication that COVID is over. But it’s not. That’s the problem.”
Frazier was regularly at the restaurant on 10th Avenue between W37/38th Street, meeting diners and having pictures taken. However, local clients were not enough to sustain a business that relied on the custom of office workers, tourists and basketball fans. The Javits Center — just a block away — also provided regular customers pre-COVID.
The restaurant opened and closed several times over the past 18 months of the pandemic. The position on a sloping part of 10th Avenue that has recently been reduced by the addition of flower beds did not allow for outdoor dining.
Frazier, 76, played with the Knicks when they won their only two championships in 1970 and 1973. When he retired from basketball, Frazier went into broadcasting. He is currently in his 34th season analyzing Knicks games on the MSG Network. Frazier is famed for his colorful attire — with GQ magazine calling him the NBA’s Greatest Style God.
ARK and Frazier still hope to find another way to connect with the fans. “We just need clarity. Clyde’s an important presence in the city amongst sports fans. It’s amazing how people love him. And rightfully so,” said Weinstein. “It’s just sad. It had a place in the city. People loved it. Maybe there will be another opportunity coming down the road.”
ARK Restaurants operate over 20 eateries around the country — including the Bryant Park Grill and Robert at Columbus Circle. As a listed company, they have not been eligible for federal funds like the Restaurant Revitalization Fund that has helped the survival of smaller restaurants.