New Jersey Monthly recently named Blu as one of the “25 Best Restaurants of 2014,” but fans of Chef Zod Arifai’s cuisine, or those who plan to dine there, better make their reservations soon. In the article, Arifai says he has decided to close Blu when his lease expires — no sooner than December 31, but no later than March 2015.
Arifai feels that BYO is the problem for the restaurant, which opened in 2005.
“I’m hugely grateful to my customers, who have supported me all these years,” he said to NJ Monthly, “but younger people, say 25 to 45, are not into BYOs. They want to order cocktails and craft beers. Older customers like to bring their best wines, but they eat out less often. In New York, the idea of high-level food in a super casual space is understood. Here, it doesn’t quite click.”
Next Door fans need not worry. Arifai’s would like to purchase the building that houses Blu and its more casual, lower priced Next Door and expand. “I might open more Next Doors in other Jersey towns,” he says. “One hundred percent of the population understands that food.”