By Linda Collins
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN — Morton’s The Steakhouse at 339 Adams St., which opened to great fanfare in 2008, has closed.
As reported first by the Brooklyn Paper and subsequently by The Real Deal and Brownstoner, the news was confirmed by Landry’s, the Texas-based hospitality company that had acquired the Morton’s chain.
“Over time, demographics shift and so do the areas in which businesses thrive and it’s because of this that we must close the Morton’s location in Brooklyn,” the Landry’s spokesperson said. “We will continue to operate Morton’s The Steakhouse in Manhattan on Fifth Avenue and in White Plains on Maple Avenue and look forward to serving our guests at these locations.”
Meanwhile, The Real Deal noted, a Morton’s steakhouse in West Palm Beach is also closing its doors for similar reasons, and locations in Boston and Atlanta have already closed.
‘It Shouldn’t Be Hard to Fill; That Whole Strip is on Fire’
In a statement released by landlord Muss Development and sent to the Brooklyn Daily Eagle Thursday, the company did not appear to be overly concerned about the loss of the upscale eatery along the Adams Street corridor.
“There is solid consumer demand for dining and shopping options in Downtown Brooklyn. To satisfy that demand, a wide range of eateries are securing prime retail space along that corridor, which has emerged as Brooklyn’s new “Restaurant Row,” according to the statement.
“That intense demand among restaurateurs and other retails is continuing unabated at Muss Development’s adjacent 345 Adams St. property and we expect that the remaining space will be spoken for in the not too distant future.”
In fact, a spokesperson for Muss told the Eagle by phone late Thursday that in the previous 24 hours, Muss had received a dozen calls from interested restaurants.
“I’m not surprised at this. It shouldn’t be hard to fill. There is so much intense interest in that whole strip,” the spokes-person said, noting the recent announcements that Sugar and Plumm and American BBQ and Beer have signed leases at 345 Adams, St., joining Panera Bread, which is expected to open in the next couple of months.
Construction on the Sugar and Plumm and American BBQ restaurants, which will be located side by side, will begin in March and both are expected to open in the fall of 2012.
“With these great new tenants, a new Willoughby Street entrance and a pedestrian plaza that will add outdoor walking space and seating, we are seeing further evolution of Downtown Brooklyn as an in-demand retail destination,” Joshua Muss, president of Muss Development, said in a December 2011 statement.
Muss Development bought the first two floors in the 345 Adams office building from the city in 2007 and has been converting it for retail use.
Commenting that is is a sad day for Downtown Brooklyn that Morton’s closed, the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership also said in its statement, “There is still a strong appetite for dining options in the district. A dozen restaurants opened in the area in 2011, nine more are coming this year, and Downtown Brooklyn property owners get calls daily from eateries interested in space.”