Ian Schrager Temporarily Closes PUBLIC Because of Coronavirus

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Famed hospitality legend Ian Schrager sent out an announcement on Monday night that he was shuttering his Lower East Side hotel and hotspot PUBLIC at 215 Chrystie Street for the time being, due to the coronavirus outbreak.

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“It is with a heavy heart that I have finally decided to temporarily close PUBLIC on Monday, March 23rd,” Schrager wrote in a message to the hotel’s mailing list this evening. “Of course, we will reopen as soon as it is safe to do so.”

Schrager, the famed hotelier and club maven behind Studio 54 and the Gramercy Hotel, said it was an extremely difficult call.

“This has been an agonizing decision for me and one of the hardest things I have had to do in my entire career,” Schrager wrote. “Not only because it is against everything I personally believe in, but because staying open to serve our guests is in our DNA and what we live for.”

But Schrager said the health crisis overruled other considerations.

“Closing is the only ethical, moral and humane thing to do in order to contain this illness and protect everybody,” he wrote. “After all, we have always considered PUBLIC the ‘People’s Hotel’, and we mean it.”