Lease Beat

Martha Stewart Cafe Isn’t So Much a Cafe as It Is a Kiosk

601 West 26th Street.

Martha Stewart is opening Martha Stewart Cafe inside RXR Realty‘s Starrett-Lehigh Building, as Bloomberg News reported two days ago, but Commercial Observer has learned that the cafe is really a kiosk occupying a mere 150 square feet.

The kiosk, which will replace a seating area on the first floor in the building at 601 West 26th Street between 11th and 12th Avenues, is not enclosed and won’t have any seats, said a source with intimate knowledge of the long-term deal, which was signed within the last 30 days. There were no brokers involved in the deal. Read More

On the Market

Two TGI Fridays Buildings Hit the Market for Lease [Updated]

TGI Fridays at 34 Union Square East. (Lauren Elkies Schram)

Two East Side buildings that are home to TGI Fridays are available for lease, Cushman & Wakefield announced.

C&W’s Joanne Podell, Ian Lerner, Brandon Singer and Chris Stanton have been appointed as the exclusive leasing agent for the three-story, 12,615-square-foot 34 Union Square East at 16th Street and the six-story, 21,000-square-foot 604 Fifth Avenue between 48th and 49th Streets. Read More

Lease Beat

SushiSamba Investor to Open Spanish Eatery in Old PAS Space [Updated]

245 Park Avenue South.

One of the investors in SushiSamba, which closed its Park Avenue South flagship in the summer, will be opening a Spanish restaurant in the Gramercy Park area space in the spring of 2015, Commercial Observer has learned.

SushiSamba, serving a blend of Japanese, Brazilian and Peruvian cuisine, was in 2,500 square feet of ground-floor space at 245 Park Avenue South between East 19th and East 20th Streets for more than 15 years until the expiration of its lease on June 30, according to information provided by Jed Sutton, executive assistant to Ofer Yardeni, co-chairman and chief executive officer of Stonehenge, the owner of the building. The residential portion of the building, with an entrance on East 20th Street between Park Avenue South and Irving Place, uses the address 8 Gramercy Park. Read More

Lease Beat

Starbucks Renews UWS Lease

540 Columbus Avenue.

Starbucks Coffee has re-signed a 3,425-square-foot lease on Columbus Avenue and West 86th Street, Commercial Observer has learned.

The coffee chain took a 10-year renewal with a one- to five-year option for its 2,425 square feet on the ground floor and 1,000 square feet in the basement at 540 Columbus Avenue. Read More

Lease Beat

Kosher Steakhouse Coming to NoMad

A rendering of the condo unit at 31 East 28th Street that will be home to a Kosher steakhouse.

The NoMad area will be getting a high-end Kosher steakhouse come the beginning of next year, Commercial Observer has learned.

JTRE Holdings has leased to Prime & Wine Kosher Steakhouse a 6,000-square-foot retail condominium unit at 31 East 28th Street, 4,000 square feet of which is on the ground floor and 2,000 of which is below grade. The asking rent in the 15-year deal was $500,000 per year triple-net. Read More

Lease Beat

Juice Generation Takes Clarke’s Standard Old FiDi Space

101 Maiden Lane.

Popular juice bar Juice Generation has signed a lease for its first Financial District location, in the ground-floor space formerly occupied by Clarke’s Standard at 101 Maiden Lane, Commercial Observer has learned.

Juice Generation, which has 12 locations in Manhattan and Brooklyn, is taking 1,683 square feet at the base of one of TF Cornerstone‘s two luxury residential buildings collectively known as 2 Gold Street, Winick Realty Group announced. The asking rent was $200 per square foot, as Commercial Observer previously reported, and the lease is for 10 years. Juice Generation is slated to open in early 2015. Read More

Lease Beat

Hu Kitchen Bringing Paleo/Primal Diet to UES

1536 Third Avenue.

Paleo/primal diet eatery Hu Kitchen is opening a location on the Upper East Side, Commercial Observer has learned.

The new Hu, slated to open in summer 2015, will span roughly 7,000 square feet over three levels at 1536 Third Avenue next to AMC Loews Orpheum 7 between East 86th and East 87th Streets, according to the brokers on the deal. Read More

Lease Beat

Just Salad Opening First UWS Location

2056 Broadway.

Fast-casual chain Just Salad is opening its 16th location with its first Upper West Side eatery, Commercial Observer has learned.

“Just Salad had been looking to open on the Upper West Side for a long time,” said Charles Rapuano of Winick Realty Group in a prepared statement. “This location was perfect for them with the foot traffic from the 72nd Street subway station, the commercial activity in the area and the health-conscious residential population that frequents the nearby yoga studios, Equinox and Soul Cycle locations.” Read More

Lease Beat

Lenny’s Unveils ‘Lenwich by Lenny’s’ Name at New Locations

The proposed storefront at 459 Park Avenue South.

Unable to trademark “Lenny’s” outside of New York City, the sandwich chain’s proprietor has introduced a new name: “Lenwich by Lenny’s.”

That’s the name that will appear on the front of Lenny’s 18th location, at 459 Park Avenue South at 31st Street, when the deli opens in three months. And that’s the name that can be found at the location that opened today, at 202 West 40th Street between Seventh and Eighth Avenues. Read More

Lease Beat

Coffee Replacing Crumbs Cupcakes in Chelsea

A Crumbs Bake Shop.

A new coffee shop serving Italian-style coffee and in-house, hand-made baked goods, is building out the 950-square-foot space where Crumbs Bake Shop used to be in Chelsea. Seven Grams Caffe signed a 10-year lease in June and plans to open at 275 Seventh Avenue between 25th and 26th Streets in the second week of September.

The owners don’t anticipate any bad joo joo from Crumbs’ demise. Read More

The Rent is Too Damn High

Manhattan Rents are Too Damn High. What’s a Restaurateur to Do?

Union Square Cafe. (Peter Bond)

As rents become increasingly prohibitive in Manhattan, restaurants at all price points are struggling to stay open.

“The rent is so high because some tenants are willing and able to pay it,” said Faith Hope Consolo, the chairman of the retail leasing and sales division at Douglas Elliman. “Relocating—perhaps with a shorter-term deal than normally—allows either this storm to pass, or gives the restaurant a chance to build a new market and perhaps be able to afford to return!” Read More

Coming to Market

‘Last Call’ Nears at TGI Fridays Union Square [Updated]

TGI Fridays at 34 Union Square East. (Lauren Elkies Schram)

Within the next few weeks, the building housing TGI Fridays in Union Square will be put on the market, marking the impending closure of that location of the global eatery known for its collection of bric-a-brac, Commercial Observer has learned.

The full-building Union Square Fridays, at 34 Union Square East at 16th Street, hasn’t fared very well and is just breaking even after four years in business, said proprietor Dennis Riese, the chairman of the board and chief executive officer of The Riese Organization, which owns the license for Fridays in Manhattan. Read More

Lease Beat

Broker Bets Merveilleux Will Become the New Cronut

Aux Merveilleux's merveilleux.

French pastry specialty shop Aux Merveilleux is bringing merveilleux, meringue treats covered with whipped cream, to the West Village, Commercial Observer has learned. It will be the high-end French boulangerie’s first location in the United States.

The bakery signed a 12-year lease for 450 square feet at 37-41 Eighth Avenue at Jane Street, said Bertand de Soultrait, the principal of Bertwood Realty, who represented the tenant and the landlord, RIG Realty, in the deal. The rent is about $400 per square foot. Read More

Lease Beat

Dos Toros Taqueria Heading to Park Avenue South

295 Park Avenue South

Upon completion of construction, Dos Toros Taqueria will open its sixth location in the Flatiron District, Commercial Observer has learned.

The taco and burrito counter-serve joint signed a lease for 1,175 square feet on the ground floor at 295 Park Avenue South between 22nd and 23rd Streets less than two months ago, according to Adam Langer of Zelnik & Company, who represented the eatery in the deal. Tossed salad, sandwich and soup restaurant previously occupied the space. Read More