File this under the It Was Bound to Happen Department if you must, but we still feel bad about it: Theater-district mainstay René Pujol, which served heavy French food to happy customers for more than 30 years, went out of business Sunday. “We needed a strong fall, and it was a little weaker than we hoped, and the Broadway strike really hurt us,” explains executive chef Vincent Purdy. “We were an established, mature business, but Sunday was our last night.” Purdy and René Pujol’s other employees ran the restaurant as a cooperative for three years, and such arrangements tend to ward off potential backers. We have lost yet another one of the formal, conservative, vaguely geriatric French restaurants that used to dominate midtown.
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