After nearly a decade of serving up high-end steaks and seafood with a Latin flair, K Rico Steakhouse on 9th Avenue between W51/52nd Streets has closed its doors. Owners Tommy Greco and Christian Tanno made the difficult decision to shut down the popular Hell’s Kitchen eatery, citing the price of steak and the slow recovery of New York from the pandemic.

K Rico has closed
K Rico Steakhouse has closed on 9th Avenue. Photo: Phil O’Brien

“I fought like hell to get through COVID,” said Greco in a telephone interview. “Doing everything I could. Dancing this way, dancing that way! K Rico was still rated one of the top steakhouses. I was happy that our last review was a five-star review. 

“The price of us getting beef is through the roof. When I started this business, let’s say prime ribeye was $9.85 a pound — and now it’s damn near $22 a pound. And then what am I gonna charge my customer? Uh, you know, a hundred dollars a steak,” he added.

Greco explained that his prices couldn’t go any higher and although he didn’t lose any customers, he said: “The person who used to come every week or every other week is now coming every month or every other month.”

He also cited the congestion charge, the slow return of New York and city regulations as factors in the closure. “I mean, this thing with the garbage cans outside. I already got a $50 ticket. I said to the Department of Sanitation guy, ‘Really? There’s a guy with a needle hanging out of his arm, laying here in the street, but I have a receptacle that you’re giving me a $50 ticket for’. The inspector shrugged and said ‘You can pay the ticket. He can’t.’ I said: ‘At least you’re honest with me’.” 

K Rico was a dream realized for childhood friends Greco and Tanno after extensive travels in Latin America inspired them to open an authentic steakhouse celebrating diverse cuisines and cultures. Since its opening in January 2015, K Rico has garnered rave reviews for its USDA Prime cuts, fresh Chilean seafood and signature dishes flavored with Latin spices and ingredients. 

K Rico celebs
Some of K Rico’s celebrity guests with co-owner Tommy Greco. Photos: K Rico Instagram

The steakhouse’s contemporary ambiance and al fresco backyard patio dining also attracted a steady stream of devoted regulars and celebrity clientele. In recent times they have shared pictures on their Instagram account of Greco with actor Tichina Arnold, singer Manuel Turizo, sapiosexual recording artist Aubrey O’Day, Stranger Things actor Gaten Matarazzo and fighter Conor McGregor.

When W42ST visited the shuttered eatery over the weekend, there were a number of regular customers trying to find out what had happened to their favorite steakhouse. Sammy Goldstein told us: “I’m heartbroken that K Rico has closed. It feels like I’ve lost one of my dearest friends. The restaurant and bar were pure elegance, the food was superb, and the very welcoming staff was the best… especially Adam, the bar manager…and Lee, the sublime greeter and hostess who had the most amazing array of fashionable outfits. I’ll miss this establishment deeply. It truly felt like my second home.”

K Rico Samuel
Sammy Goldstein has fond memories of K Rico hostess Lee and his favorite dish, grilled octopus. Photos: Sammy Goldstein

Greco still co-owns Ritz Bar & Lounge down 9th Avenue on Restaurant Row with Jimmy Glenn. Ritz has been open for “17 years and counting” according to a recent press release that called it “a hotspot for celebrities, film crews, TV production houses, record labels and fashion icons alike.” Greco was presented in the press statements as being “a straight, married, Italian guy” successfully running a gay bar. Last year, the club was in the spotlight when Julio Ramirez was last seen leaving Ritz before being found dead in a cab downtown. After an investigation, three men were charged with Ramirez’s murder earlier this year.

Greco is also keeping busy with ventures in New Jersey working with family and friends. “We opened a small little empanada shop out here in Park Ridge called Pop Empanada and we make handmade authentic empanadas, Cuban sandwiches, Pollo Fritos and Churrascos. And two days a week, Thursday and Saturday nights, we do a thing called the Supper Club.” He’s joined in those ventures with his wife, mother-in-law and Nicolas Pescatore, who used to be GM at Ritz and went on to become a chef.

Ritz Bar and Lounge
Tommy Greco will celebrate Ritz Bar and Lounge’s 17th Anniversary this September. Photo: Phil O’Brien

“I’m still here. I’m a Hell’s Kitchen guy since 1998. This neighborhood’s like a drug. It keeps you hooked,” said Greco. “Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your business. Survival’s the new success, they say, right?”

Join the Conversation


  1. I’m sorry to see K-Rico close, but will keep my eyes open for the next venture because I know Tommy will create something else equally as terrific.

  2. Bit premature to claim congestion pricing was a factor, but it’s a good buzz word to toss out right now…

    1. Greco has been outspoken about NYC politics in the past and his conservative leaning opinions have always rubbed me the wrong way. Especially as a co-owner of a safe space for LGBTQIA+ and non voting resident of nyc.

    2. Carlos,
      At minimum, CP will add costs to items delivered and to taxi/Uber.

      And CP will not result in lower bus-subway fares

  3. Thanks Tommy for sticking it out during COVID when things were the Night of the Living Dead in HK. You are and have been an upstanding guy always. I will never forget that you allowed to host my fundraiser at K-Rico when I first ran for District Leader. But mostly, I know first hand from all the visits we made to your shop with whoever was the seated city council person, that you and others on Restaurant Row and 9th Ave were fighting a war to stay afloat. Not enough police didn’t help. Politicians afraid to admit that the police are needed and wanted. Reform the culture of NYPD? Yes. Absolutely.

    I agree that Congestion Pricing in its present form is a business killer, a resident nightmare and should be re-tooled to look more like London’s model.. Yes I know this is New York, not London, but we are heading down a dangerous path and those who invented this model need to go back to the drawing board and be sensible and phase this “stuff” in incrementally.
    Thanks for all your work, Tommy. Good luck

  4. If he’s truly claiming that an inability to properly manage to his waste containers and a congestion pricing scheme that has not yet been implemented are key factors in this place closing, I have to be a bit skeptical of his acumen as a businessman.

    He really could have stopped at beef prices. It’s not as if drug users are unique to Hell’s Kitchen, and I don’t see literally every other business in the city closing because of them.

  5. Sorry to see it go.
    Although there are a lot of tourists, they don’t replace office workers.

    Also more new restaurants in the neighborhood which attract the “young affluent“ demographic.

    There is an over -saturation of restaurants everywhere in Manhattan.

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