Ignacio Mattos. Photo: Scott Heins

When it opened during the summer of 2022, Ignacio Mattos’s Corner Bar marked the beginning of post-pandemic dining in Manhattan. The chef — at that point best known for his grilled foie gras and mushroom-topped ricotta dumplings at Estela, or the Roquefort burger at Altro Paradiso — took a hard swerve into room-service food, putting his spin on hotel staples including niçoise salad, shrimp cocktail, and steak au poivre. In the New York Times, critic Pete Wells wrote that it was “nobody’s idea of a cutting-edge restaurant.” It was good, and popular, though — plus the move was fitting, since the restaurant anchors the Nine Orchard hotel. But now, word arrives that Mattos is out, a rumor that’s been confirmed by the chef’s reps.

The hotel has been controversial since it opened — accused of amplifying gentrification in Chinatown as well as killing the vibes at Clandestino — regardless, Mattos’s attachment brought a great deal of buzz. Along with Corner Bar, he opened Swan Room, a cocktail bar that occupies a gilded room that looks like it could be used for an Age of Innocence shoot. Other plans didn’t fully materialize, though, namely the promised fine-dining restaurant, Amado Grill. In April 2023, Eater New York reported that Mattos had killed the plan to focus on Corner Bar. But in December, he reportedly had a change of heart and announced he would open it this year. Guess not!

No word from Nine Orchard, yet, on future plans.