Behind the Budget-Friendly Changes at Le Bec-Fin

It’s no secret that Georges Perrier’s empire is struggling — witness the shocking sudden close of Brasserie Perrier on New Year’s Eve, the recent rollout of $5 cocktails (a huge hit) and free nibbles from 5 to 7 weeknights at both Le Bec-Fin and Le Bar Lyonnais, and a Monday-night BYO program (with no corkage fee) that’s finally getting noticed. Now comes word of an even more surprising change: Starting February 9th, both dining rooms will offer a $15.23 (the restaurant’s address) express lunch special.

Whom do we have to thank for this lunchtime largesse? Earlier this month, in a most un-Perrier-like move, the chef hired a market research firm to grill groups of 30- to 45-year-olds about what would make them come back to Le Bec after years of being lured away by a crop of cool new restaurants. What else was learned? Along with the new pricing, says Perrier PR rep Patti Klein, a more casual look for the main dining room is on its way.