Messa, a chef restaurant that was established in 2004 and has since been ranked by Design Magazine Wall Paper as one of the 50 most beautiful restaurants in the world, is shutting down, according to Israeli media reports.
Located at 19 HaArba’a Street, Messa (the name means “table” in Spanish, hence its “exclusive extended concept table”) is a short walk away from Kaplan Street near Ayalon highway, Tel Aviv’s main traffic artery. It was its location, which helped its success over the past 19 years, that now killed it.
“We are all shocked,” one of the employees told Ynet. “Because of the demonstrations, they closed all the roads and slowly we started to fade away. Everything was great until December, but since they started blocking the roads twice a week––because of the disruptions and the demonstrations––people just couldn’t get to the place. They didn’t get to the bar and they didn’t get to the restaurant, and the place is big so that’s a problem.”
“The demonstrations in Ayalon are right over our heads,” he said. “Every time there are disruptions outside, everything goes wrong in the restaurant, too. No one saw this coming, it happened suddenly from one day to the next.”
יום בשבוע הגישה קצת מוגבלת אז בגלל זה סוגרים. כן זה מטומטם כמו שזה נשמעhttps://t.co/1eEIrRpq8I
— Anat Kamm (@anat_kamm) March 12, 2023
There were obviously other reasons for closing down: back in 2019 two of the partners, including the original chef, left. This was followed by the pandemic, when Messa closed down along with all the other restaurants on the planet. But in 2021 the restaurant launched a comeback, with a new chef, who used to work in Amsterdam, and Messa was riding high again with its unique dishes like foie gras and white chocolate, or shrimp on Kadaif noodles.
But ten weeks without customers spelled the death penalty for this restaurant, which relies on its capacity to host large events for its bread and butter.