“I love the Spotted Pig and all the staff who helped make it such an iconic place,” the statement added. “I’m sorry I did not create a sustainable work environment. Its closing is the saddest thing I’ve had to face in my professional life. I want to thank our loyal employees and devoted patrons, who have been like family.”
The Spotted Pig was a hit among New Yorkers as soon as Mr. Friedman opened it in 2004 with Ms. Bloomfield, and became an international destination when the restaurant won a Michelin star a year after opening. Waits stretched hours for the chance to eat Ms. Bloomfield’s famous burger with Roquefort cheese and shoestring fries (priced at $29 on Sunday’s final dinner menu) and to spot celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow and Jay-Z as they were whisked upstairs to a private room.
(Jay-Z is an owner of the building.)
“It was like a kids’ clubhouse, but with the best food and most beautiful people,” said Jessica Steinberg, a writer who said she was a regular there in the early years. “The magic was that when you finally got in, you felt like you belonged there.”
Over the past weekend, current and former employees mourned its closing.
“It almost feels like a family member died or something,” said Robinson Muir, 32, who started working at the Spotted Pig as a busboy when he was 18 and spent eight years working in the front of the house there and at the Breslin in Manhattan’s Ace Hotel, which Mr. Friedman and Ms. Bloomfield opened in 2009, and which Ms. Bloomfield still operates as chef.
Mr. Muir and other current and former employees spent much of Sunday texting, posting on social media and commiserating.
“We all kind of grew up there, and it was one of the places I thought would never go away,” said Mr. Muir, who has since moved to Seattle, where he works for Microsoft. “Obviously we empathize with the women, and are glad they are getting the justice they deserve, but it’s like dealing with abusive parents in a way. You have such mixed and sort of complicated feelings about it.”
The claims about working conditions at the Spotted Pig were first reported in a December 2017 article in The New York Times. Immediately, the once-thriving empire of restaurants that Mr. Friedman and Ms. Bloomfield built as partners began to disintegrate.