Talk about a false start. The 401 Diner in Conshy re-opened about two weeks ago after a nine-month hiatus, only to close again a few days later, then promise to re-re-open (ostensibly) tomorrow morning. We caught up by phone with supervising chef Michael Cappon while he was prepping lunch today at sister restaurant, Isabella, to ask him W, exactly, TF.
While Cappon initially referred us to the restaurant’s PR agent, he was persuaded by what could only have been our courtesy, verve (and humility) to explain, “The kitchen staff was not able to produce at the level we expected. They weren’t able to get the food out how we needed them to.” When asked if the crew was failing at food quality, timeliness, or presentation, he answered simply, “Everything.”
The wayward personnel have been axed and management has used the downtime to intensively train new hires and retool the menu.
It’s rare for a restaurant team to publicly admit to inadequacies or staffing problems, and it’s even more unusual for a place to temporarily shut down because it’s doesn’t meet the owners’ standards. But honestly, we applaud the ownership’s bold stance and wish them and new chef Quan Church (who worked with Cappon at El Vez) the best of luck in getting the doors open tomorrow–and keeping them open for a long time to come.
401 Diner [Official website]