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Over, done: Morton’s closes

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Morton’s the Steakhouse abruptly closed after three years of flipping T-bones Downtown on Wednesday, baffling carnivores and marking a major culinary closure for a neighborhood where dining destinations have only recently fired up their grills.

Landry’s Inc., a Texas-based hospitality company, purchased the national steakhouse chain on Feb. 1 and company honchos shuttered the Morton’s location at Adams Street near Fulton Street hours later, citing “shifting demographics.”

A spokeswoman from Landry’s, which also owns the angus sellers McCormick & Schmick’s, refused to explain how changing demographics have impacted the eatery. But Landry’s Vice President of Marketing Kris Guthrie insisted they “must close the Morton’s location in Brooklyn.”

Workers tore down Morton’s signature red sign, packed boxes and posted fliers proclaiming the eatery is “closed for business” on Wednesday afternoon — leaving hungry Downtowners with lots of questions.

“It’s too bad — there aren’t a lot of good places to eat downtown,” said Chris James, who works nearby. “I hope a New American restaurant goes in.”

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Reader Feedback

MoneyLOVE from K-town says:
Really? Good riddance! Morton's was way overpriced for the area. Anyone who had that kind of cash was going to Luger's or Embers anyway! Besides there are other good places to eat Downtown Brooklyn (BBQ anyone?) Would be nice to see something more appropriate for our economic time to replace a steakhouse. TAD's steakhouse would be the way to go instead of another bloated overpriced steakhouse of a bygone era.
Feb. 1, 2012, 6:03 pm
Today says:
I didn't even get a chance to eat at this rat infested chow hall.....too bad. see ya.
Feb. 1, 2012, 6:46 pm
Victor from Cobble Hill says:
Mortons offered one of the best happy hours. I will really miss the $7 top shelf martinis and bar bites.
Feb. 1, 2012, 9:16 pm
Ed from Windsor Terrace says:
Mortons was very blah. Not worth the money at all. I hope that space is taken over by a good bar or restaurant that can be supported by the after-work and power lunch crowds.
Feb. 1, 2012, 9:47 pm
Moses from Park Slope says:
This is a human tragedy for Downtown. But what is worse is an under-reported story. Changing demographics?! Downtown is only getting more gentrified and richer. And where is the interview with the general manager (who is so close to Brooklyn Paper Editor Vince DiMiceli that they named a drink after him (it's called "The Free Glenlivet")?

And no mention of the Power Hour, the happy hour food specials that actually made Morton's UNDERPRICED for the area.

I sincerely hope there is a long follow-up coming, as this story left me hungering for more.
Feb. 2, 2012, 12:27 am
JudahSpechal from BedStuy says:
Hooray! Sorry for the folks who lost their jobs. This is a perfect example of how Real Estate marketing have created a non existence downtown. Keep getting rid of the stores that serves the population that's exist there in reality.
Feb. 2, 2012, 8:19 am
jerry from brighton beach says:
That's bad news for BP Marty Markowitz. I wonder why he didn't mention that in his State of the Borough Speech last night.

He was one of there best customers.

Hey Marty ,I guess it's back to Peter Lugers even though you have said that Morton's was just as good.
Feb. 2, 2012, 9:38 am
Joe Blow from Bay Ridge says:
The truth is that Morton's is a crappy chain steak house. Why bother with it when NY has such great steakhouses to begin with? Morton's is for airports, suburbia and southern "cities". Not good enough for NY.
Feb. 2, 2012, 10:03 am
Joey from Clinton Hills says:
I remember when Gersh proclaimed Mortons was superior to Peter Luger. I guess Gersh will have to go to Outback Steakhouse in the future.
Feb. 2, 2012, 10:36 am
Brooklyn from Kensington says:
Glad I had Morton's to flee to at jury time lunch hour - food options were otherwise garbage around the courthouse, and what an oasis from the rabble! Nothing like a bourdeaux and a t-bone to make the afternoon go faster.
Feb. 2, 2012, 11:54 am
Toula says:
What a disaster for the people who were working there. To wake up in the morning thinking you have a job and to find the doors locked. Almost all the comments are about the customers, how about the people.. from one day to the next they lost their income. Why the company did not notify them in time... how legal is that?
Feb. 2, 2012, 12:26 pm
Lou from Cobble Hill says:
Not the best steakhouse in NY by far, and not in Luger's league, but they served a generally very decent steak and their specials and dinner combos were actually really reasonable and generous. The staff, all of the waiters and waitresses, and especially the general manager, Joe Roeker were extremely nice and professional, extremely friendly, and my children especially took a shine to going, even though it wasnt a traditional "family" type restaurant. will be missed.
Feb. 2, 2012, 2:52 pm
Illiana Murray from Clinton Hill says:
I loved this location! I loved the Happy Hour! I loved the bartenders! What happened, I need more info! From what I understand, this Morton's was one of the top earners in the chain. Last time I was there one of the bartenders told me that change was down the road because of the merger but I would never imagine this happening. WTF.
Feb. 2, 2012, 2:52 pm
Kevin from Riverdale says:
Sounds like Joe Blow and moneyLOVE should be dining at Grand Lux Cafe. Sorry if you've had a bad experience but after frequenting Morton's for a Good 5 yrs with lawyers, doctors, movie execs and a few celebs I can never complain of a sub par dining experience, if I wanted a bad steak and feel ripped off I'd go to Ruth's Chris!!!
Feb. 2, 2012, 3:04 pm
Allison from Gowanus says:
Sad news, every time I drove by this place I would always say I have to try it. I guess I won't be able to now but I hope something interesting opens in the space. Has anyone tried Monte's 20oz NY Sirlion Steak in Gowanus? It is amazing!
Feb. 2, 2012, 5:04 pm
InTheSlope from Park Slope says:
they closed it BECAUSE the didn't want BP Marty to eat there anymore....
Feb. 2, 2012, 5:39 pm
Dave from Downtown says:
Oh no! Another restaurant with zero character and average food bites the dust!
Feb. 2, 2012, 5:54 pm
jim from cobble hill says:
Something tells me it's the departure of all those hot young "finance professionals" from wherever who moved here to work at Bear Stearns and keep rents high... or just the departure of their bonuses. The leftover trustafarian hipsters are too ironic to go to an old-establishment place like Morton's so they have to hang out at Barcade. I'll stick with the Apollo Diner.
Feb. 3, 2012, 9:39 am
Brian from Bensonhurst says:
Ok best steak or not, that is only a matter of opinion. The truth is a majority of the staff consistently went out of their way to make the dining and bar expierience downtown an exceptional one. I know this personally and treated everyone that came into the bar like a friend. I will miss you all! Gersh, Vince, good luck with everything.
Feb. 3, 2012, 9:43 am
Dawn from Downtown Brooklyn says:
I understand when a business needs to make changes due to financial problems or marketing but to claim it is due to “changing demographics” is, in my opinion, ridiculous! I’d love to know what their target demographics are since Downtown Brooklyn is flourishing with at least a half dozen new luxury apartments opening offering thousands of new residents to the demographics. These new residents are mostly young professionals What a poor decision for a business to make to pull out at the peak time! I find the decision to close completely mind boggling. Did the marketing director use 5 year old demographics information when making this analysis?
Feb. 6, 2012, 10:24 am
OCH from Clinton Hill says:
Morton's had the best take out. That's right take out often after a Hard day when you didn't want the pomp and circumstance morton's was the best for takeout
Feb. 9, 2012, 8:07 pm
Resident from Cobble Hill says:
How about how they abruptly called the staff together, told them it would be their last day, and gave the oh so generous severance of $200. Way to treat your employees!
Feb. 10, 2012, 9:50 am
KC from Manhattan says:
I ate there twice and I thought it was nice but they definitely picked the wrong location. Maybe some lawyers will eat there but most cops around there can't afford it. The neighborhood is too quiet in the evening and weekends. Bear Stearns got bought by JPM and students in the area are not going to eat there. The restaurant seemed out of place in an area with Wendy's, BK and Conway. The hotel may have helped but not everyone can afford it. Despite the new luxury apartments and condos, the area is still not hip yet.
Feb. 11, 2012, 6:34 pm
Mrs. M from Manhattan says:
I am so sorry to find this out. I wanted to take my hubby there for a very special 50th birthday last year which just so happened to fall on 8/28 on the day a "hurricane" hit NYC and they had to close. Needless to say we dined in (and the so called hurricane really was just a lot of wind and rain) but "Iana" or maybe it was "Diana" from Morton's was oh such a sweetheart with me during all my planning. I actually looked forward just to meeting her. Now one year later I was so excited to pick up where we left off just to call the number (3 times I dialed to make sure it wasn't me) only to find this out. Wow. I won't get to have what I heard was a wonderful birthday experience (she said Morton's lists the birthday person's name in their menu for the day), eat what I heard was pretty good food and meet a sweetheart of an employee.
Aug. 23, 2012, 1:28 pm
Mrs. M from Manhattan says:
I am so sorry to find this out. I wanted to take my hubby there for a very special 50th birthday last year which just so happened to fall on 8/28 on the day a "hurricane" hit NYC and they had to close. Needless to say we dined in (and the so called hurricane really was just a lot of wind and rain) but "Iana" or maybe it was "Diana" from Morton's was oh such a sweetheart with me during all my planning. I actually looked forward just to meeting her. Now one year later I was so excited to pick up where we left off just to call the number (3 times I dialed to make sure it wasn't me) only to find this out. Wow. I won't get to have what I heard was a wonderful birthday experience (she said Morton's lists the birthday person's name in their menu for the day), eat what I heard was pretty good food and meet a sweetheart of an employee.
Aug. 23, 2012, 1:28 pm
Jim from Arizona says:
Over time Morton's just turned into another over priced chain...
Aug. 31, 2014, 3:17 pm

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