Leia Gaccione on the Closing of Central + Main

Gaccione explains the reasoning behind her decision to close the Madison restaurant, which will take place September 9.

leia central and main
Photo courtesy of Central + Main

After three and a half years of operation, chef Leia Gaccione has decided to close her Madison BYO, Central + Main, effective September 9. Her other restaurant, South + Pine, which opened in 2015 next to the Mayo Performing Arts Center in Morristown, continues operation. Both restaurants received three-star reviews from New Jersey Monthly.

[RELATED: For Summer Dining, Staffing Poses a Major Challenge]

Eric Levin: Why have you decided to close Central & Main?
Leia Gaccione: “The lease was up, the landlord wants to tear down the building in a year and build apartments. Knowing that will happen—and dealing with the ongoing labor shortage, which is its own pandemic—has been really difficult. My chef is leaving September 30, and I haven’t found a replacement for her. It’s been a really hard year and a half. Right now it’s the best decision.”

“All the employees will have the opportunity to work at South + Pine, but I’m sure none will have a hard time finding work because every restaurant is looking for employees. It was a very difficult decision, and everybody’s like, ‘So sorry!’ I appreciate that, but it takes a courageous person to recognize that something’s not working and call it quits before it’s too late and walk out with their head up.”

“I didn’t get knocked out. This isn’t the end. With the landlord planning to knock down the building, and the staffing difficulties, it was difficult, but the smartest decision we could make for everyone involved, and I’m not beating myself up over it.”

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