‘End of an era’: Four Seasons serves last ever power lunch

 nypost.com  06/11/2019 23:38:53   Angel Torres, Oli Coleman and Ebony Bowden

The souffle has set on the Four Seasons Restaurant, with the legendary 60-year-old Manhattan institution serving its final “power lunch” on Tuesday.

Diners who flocked to the famed eatery for the last lunch described the closure as the end of an era.

This is a place that is very, very important to the history of New York and were celebrating that today, said final customer Laurie Beckelman, 68, of Manhattan, who savored the restaurants last ever tuna burger and capped it off with double espresso.

A favorite of publishing executives, celebrities and Wall Streeters for decades, the upscale spot struggled to hold onto its clientele in recent years and on Friday Page Six broke the news it was closing indefinitely after Tuesday’s lunch service.

“There are other places that are snobby. No one is ever snobby at the Four Seasons,” added Beckelman, an associate director at The Shed cultural center at Hudson Yards.

The restaurant opened in the famed Seagram Building on Park Avenue in 1959 and quickly became a symbol of Manhattan’s wealth and power and the go-to place to hash out important business deals.

The term “power lunch” was coined by Esquire Magazine in 1979 to describe midday meals there which end “with the decisions and the deals that will keep you in books, clothes, wine, and ideas for the rest of the year.”

But people at Tuesday’s last supper blamed changing times and the demise of the power lunch for the famed restaurant’s closure.

“It was always a place to celebrate, usually a business victory,” said Richard Sweret, 57, a travel editor from Brooklyn who enjoyed the crispy bass for lunch.

“It was something that you did with a team of people. It was an opportunity to savor a win. I think people don’t have as much time, and that’s why this is phasing out.”

Barry Greenhouse, 79, of Manhattan, was celebrating his 53rd wedding anniversary with wife Linda Greenhouse, and recalled dining at the Four Seasons 50 years ago.

“Back when I started coming there was a prix fixe dinner after 10 o’clock that was $10.50,” he said.

“The best dessert I ever had was chocolate velvet at the old Four Seasons. It is the best dessert I’ve ever had in my life.”

The tables turned on the famed eatery in 2015 when the Seagram Building’s owners declined to renew the restaurants lease.

Investors shelled out $40 million relocating the eatery to East 49th Street and Madison Avenue in September 2018 but diners by then had already moved on to other things.

When asked by The Post about his fondest memory, Alex von Bidder, owner of the Four Seasons, recalled serving the Dalai Lama in 2009.

“I was honored to host him,” he said. “When he was walking out, he grabbed me and we walked down the hallway and we were laughing like two schoolboys.”

“I know a lot of people and I knew of a lot of deals that happened here, but I never talked about them. I would never tell you about them,” he added of the famed power lunches.

“When I spent time with all these people I got to know their families and their business associates. I know these people. I’m sad to see it go.”

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