Chatting with big a muckety-muck at BR Guest Restaurant Group recently, we learned a scary thing. Even that group’s apparently recession-proof, highly diversified outlets (which include tourist-magnets like Dos Caminos, Prime Steak, Blue Fin, Ruby Foo’s, etc.) are suffering significant downturns in business — on some days, and in some spots, revenues are down nearly 75%. Ouch. We heard this right after we learned that Backals, the ambitious Scarsdale restaurant that dared to put Philippe Stark “Ghost” chairs into the old Heathcote Tavern, had just gone bust before they made it into the bi-ennial Zagat Guide. Gone with them is their pretty, monkey-muraled event space, the room where we’d always wanted to host a drunken rout. (Alas, we’ll just have to go ape somewhere else.)
Meanwhile, an anonymous source told us that a Purchase multi-national (whose name rhymes with shmepsico) cancelled two big-budget holiday parties at one of Westchester’s most haut (in the literal sense) restaurants. If that’s a virus spreading through the corporate headquarters of Westchester, this is going to be a hard few months.