It turns out that Michael White can go home again after all. The restaurant world was abuzz last November with rumors that Mr. White’s Altamarea restaurant group (Marea, Osteria Morini, Ai Fiori, Nicoletta) had inked a deal at 206 Spring Street, where Mr. White got his start in the Fiamma kitchen.
Confirmation came today in The New York Times that an untitled Altamarea restaurant will open in the space. Publicists for the company were tight-lipped on details and did not return The Commercial Observer‘s requests for comment.
Altamarea will take over three floors of the 12,400-square-boot building, which Corigin Real Estate Group purchased last November from BR Guest Hospitality for $8 million.
Corigin Real Estate Group has closed on its purchase of a seven-story Art Deco building at 535 East 80th Street, formerly occupied by the City University of New York, for $61.75, city records confirm.
The firm purchased the building from the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York, according to the city records.
Corigin Real Estate Group’s history indicates that a development project could be in the works at the property, as the firm has built, renovated and/or repositioned at least five student housing facilities in New York City, all of which are leased to New York University.
Things might be coming full circle in the kitchen at 206 Spring Street, the former home of the Italian restaurant Fiamma. Blue chip restaurateur Stephen Hanson, whose BR Guest Hospitality empire includes Atlantic Grill, Blue Water Grill, Dos Caminos, Ruby Foo’s and Strip House, sold the five-story Soho building last week for an undisclosed price to Corigin Real Estate Group.
Now, the rumor mill is working overtime with buzz that Corigin leased the building’s three restaurant floors to Altamarea, whose co-owner, Michael White, was the original chef at Fiamma in 2002 before falling out with Mr. Hanson. When The New York Observer covered the opening of Mr. White’s Marea, restaurateur Scott Conant would only say that, “[Mr. White] had a situation with [Mr. Hanson], and could no longer work with him.”