Chef Marc Murphy announced on Monday that he has decided to close Ditch Plains, a popular seafood eatery in the West Village. Citing the skyrocketing cost of space in the Greenwich Village Historic District, Murphy hopes to reopen the restaurant in a new location. Murphy was previously forced to close another branch of Ditch Plains in 2014. Located on the Upper West Side for three years, the restaurant also fell victim to the city’s rising rental fees.
Murphy was exposed to Italian and and French cuisine from an early age. Born in Milan, he also lived in Paris, Rome and the French Riviera commune of Villefranche-sur-Mer as a child. He trained at New York’s Institute of Culinary Education and gained experience at multiple restaurants in Europe and New York. In 2004, he opened Landmarc, a Tribeca bistro that drew on his European training. In 2009, he was introduced to a wider audience when he began appearing on the Food Network’s Chopped cooking competition series as a judge. He has since become a fixture on television, judging adolescent chefs on Chopped Junior and making dozens of guest appearances on shows like Rachael Ray, The Best Thing I Ever Ate and The Today Show.
Despite his success behind the stove and on television, Murphy has struggled to expand his restaurant empire in New York. In addition to closing two branches of Ditch Plains, he also was forced to scale back operations at Landmarc Tribeca in July. Currently, the restaurant is not available to the public and is only open for private events. However, Murphy still retains his Landmarc location inside The Shops at Columbus Circle.