Apologies. That shuddering, painful cry you may have heard echoing through the streets of New York City this morning was me. I had just learned the sad news of the closure of Co., the beloved, delicious, and altogether-charming Chelsea pizza restaurant on the corner of West 24th Street and Ninth Avenue where not a few members of the local art industry could typically be found dining on any given night.
White Columns director Matthew Higgs reported the news on his Instagram, and Eater has a spokesperson for Jim Lahey, the resto’s proprietor, saying that he closed the shop to focus on his core business, the superb Sullivan Street Bakery, which has a location just up the block from the former home of Co. and a pop-up in Hell’s Kitchen, with a permanent location in that neighborhood along the way.
Co. opened in 2009, and was long a redoubt of dependably excellent pizzas, with crust that was crisp on its surface and lusciously soft inside. I particularly loved the pies bedecked with fine cured meats, whether salt-spiked or spicy, though there were nuanced vegetable-forward offerings as well.
And it wasn’t just pizzas that Co. mastered. Its hearty meatballs, accompanied by a potent tomato sauce, were also a thing of beauty—an absolute must-order, a treat to split with a friend.
The end of Co. follows the closure in 2015 of La Lunchonette, the veteran French bistro, and the always lively Moran’s, as well as the Fillmore Room, which took Moran’s place but was shuttered by a fire in 2016.
On a happier note, Lahey is considering the possibility of opening a new project in Co.’s place, according to Eater, and other Chelsea restaurants appear to be going strong, like Cookshop, Tía Pol, and Porchlight, the Danny Meyer-helmed cocktail-focused outfit with a delightfully decadent bison burger (the Double Trouble Bison Burger, it’s called).
And, of course, there is Bottino and its wonderful take-out spot. As the poet once wrote, “While stands Bottino, Chelsea shall stand;/When falls Bottino, Chelsea shall fall.” May it stand forever.