By Hadas Kuznits
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia’s iconic high-end restaurant, Le Bec Fin, closes its doors for good this week.
“They’ve been around a long time, I’ve had many good dinners there, but its time is up, I suppose,” said one man walking by the well-known restaurant in the 1500 block of Walnut Street.
“Le Bec Fin was an institution in Philadelphia for many years, and Georges Perrier was certainly an icon,” said a woman passerby.
The elegant restaurant, which first opened in center city in 1970, has frequently been named among the top ten dining establishments in the world.
But some don’t believe the restaurant is really closing since it continued to operate after owner Georges Perrier left. Perrier announced in 2010 that he was closing it, then sold it to a manager who reopened it under the same name.
Chef Chris Scarduzio, the director of operations, says he understands:
“In my mind, Le Bec Fin closed the minute Georges walked off the stoves — that would’ve been about two years ago when he relinquished a lot of power and he sold it.”
Scarduzio says the restaurant will undergo renovations and will open in September under a new name.
But onetime patrons of the classy French restaurant say they’ll be sad to walk by.
“I’m not gonna look!” said one woman. “I’m still gonna think of it as Le Bec Fin no matter what is put up there afterward, truly.”
“Philadelphia’s gonna miss Le Bec Fin,” said another.