Tel Aviv Facing Wave of Restaurant Closings

Master Chef judge Michal Ansky’s eatery is the latest casualty.

Rotem Maimon

The wave of restaurant closings in Tel Aviv is continuing, and the newest addition to the list of failed eateries this week belongs to one of the judges of the Master Chef reality television program Michal Ansky, Ahad Ha’am Ahad. The restaurant only opened at the beginning of the summer in the Neveh Tzedek neighborhood of Tel Aviv.

The restaurant is closing after a court appointed a receiver for Amir Bramly’s Kela Investment Fund, the sole owner of the restaurant, as well as for his Rubicon Business Group. The coffee house chain Bramly owns, Ethnachta, is also closing for the same reason.

Bramly’s investment empire is both under an Israel Securities Authority investigation and in receivership. It has obligations of 290 million shekels ($74.9 million) to investors against assets valued at just tens of millions of shekels said the court-appointed receiver on Monday.

Ansky released an announcement over the weekend, saying the restaurant was closed until further notice, and until the various negotiations between the parties interested in investing in it are completed.

“I have received many requests from new investors interested in joining and that is very heartening,” she said. “There is no doubt that the situation the restaurant has fallen into is not simple, but I am sure that things will return to normal within a short time.”

The Kela Fund’s financial troubles may also affect Ansky’s other projects she was planning along with Barmly, including the new Shuk Hatzafon (Northern Market) that was supposed to open in the Ramat Hahayal neighborhood of Tel Aviv and two new kosher farmers markets that were scheduled to open in another six months in New York, on the Upper West Side and midtown Manhattan.

Two more significant restaurant closings this week were the French patisserie Carme, and Michal Berman’s Italian restaurant Sola Food & Wine Bar in Jaffa. Carme was opened almost three years ago by high-techist Erez Gold and was considered an amazing success when it opened.

Another major closing last week was in the new food court in the Sarona Market in Tel Aviv. Chocolatier Ika Cohen closed his “Ika Chocolate” store there, only two months after it opened. The official explanation for the closing was Cohen’s moving to Ansky’s new Shuk Hatzafon, but that too is now a question mark given the financial collapse of the Kela Fund.