According to a pair of well-placed sources, the last few months have seen some troubling financial and managerial happenings at Chez Spencer. Keep in mind that no confirmation will be coming from the powers that be at Chez Spencer—now or ever—but we're hearing the rumblings of the following developments of note. As always with unconfirmed rumors, take it as you will:
1) Owner and executive chef Laurent Katgel is rarely on the premises anymore.
2) The restaurant/Katgel has gone through one supplier after another, following running up unpaid debts with past suppliers.
3) Deliveries have reached a point where COD's are the only way that suppliers will deal with the restaurant now.
4) Deliverymen have been forced to literally wheel just-delivered food from the kitchen back onto the truck (memo to restaurants: supporting local farmers means paying them too).
5) At the resto, staff members have had to wait weeks upon weeks for paychecks to arrive.
6) Chefs are worrying during service that they don't have enough food to feed customers.
7) There was a point recently when shipment mismanagement meant that there were no dairy products, which is, well, not ideal for any restaurant, let alone a French one. So if your latte was a bit flat that night...
What does this all mean? Assuming there's some amount of truth to the rumors, the financial problems are definitely worrying as far as Chez Spencer's future goes. For now though, as far as we can tell, the restaurant still pulls in decent-sized crowds and there's clearly some behind-the-scenes turmoil/bitterness at work on 14th Street, but rest assured we'll be keeping an eye on the operation. In the meantime, your thoughts on the matter are welcome to the tipline or in the comments below.