Food & Drink

Food & Drink

Chelsea Piers ‘wichcraft Closed Due to Health Violations [Updated]

'wichcraft at Chelsea Piers. ('wichcraft's website)

The city’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene shut down sandwich chain ‘wichcraft at Chelsea Piers yesterday, Commercial Observer has learned. [The eatery passed its reinspected on Nov. 10 and reopened, said Jeffrey Zurofsky, one of the partners of ‘wichcraft.]

‘wichcraft, located on the West Side Highway at Pier 62 and 12th Avenue, was hit with 46 violation points, 41 of which were deemed critical, during a routine annual health inspection. Read More

Food & Drink

Rainbow Room Reopens to Public for Brunch This Sunday

The new Rainbow Room at 30 Rockefeller Plaza. (Bart Barlow)

The historic Rainbow Room will be reopening to the public for brunch on Sunday after a private opening party on Wednesday. Then on Monday night the Rainbow Room, on the 65th floor of 30 Rockefeller Plaza, will be open for dinner.

Owner and operator Tishman Speyer oversaw the renovations which included an updated dining room, two new lounge spaces, one of which will be open to the public, and a 950-foot wraparound terrace. The company declined to indicate the price tag through a spokeswoman. Gabellini Sheppard Architects, the architecture firm which reimagined Rockefeller Center‘s observation deck, Top of the Rock, designed the Rainbow Room’s public spaces. Read More

Food & Drink

Will Manhattanites Taste Jimmy Rodriguez’s Caribbean Cuisine?

544 West 27th Street.

Jimmy Rodriguez, who made Jimmy’s Bronx Cafe famous before it closed a decade ago, is hoping to bring Caribbean-inspired cuisine to Manhattan, Commercial Observer has learned.

Mr. Rodriguez, who opened Don Coqui‘s third location in the City Island section of the Bronx in January, is negotiating to lease a 10,000-square-foot space at 544 West 27th Street between 10th and 11th Avenues for a Manhattan Don Coqui restaurant. Read More

Food & Drink

NYC Restaurants’ ‘Scarlet Letter’

8 Photos

Mr. Publicover takes the temperature of a pie.  (Lauren Elkies Schram)

Austin Publicover is waiting with one of his clients for her hearing at the city’s Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings Health Tribunal in Lower Manhattan. His client, a Noho restaurant owner, is antsy. She wants to get back to work and is eager to contest the “C” sanitary inspection rating she received from the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

“If [my restaurant] has a ‘C,’ all of the restaurants in the city should shut down,” the proprietor, who requested anonymity for fear of reprisal, said while seated in the waiting area. She was also hit with a recommended fine of $2,235. Read More

Food & Drink

Westville Shopping Around for Fifth Location

Westville at 210 West 10th Street.

Neighborhood comfort food joint Westville is looking to open a fifth New York City restaurant and its first commercial kitchen in Manhattan or in a Brooklyn neighborhood near Manhattan.

Westville tapped newly formed Voda Bauer Real Estate to assist in the search for a 2,000- to 5,000-square-foot restaurant and commissary space, the real estate firm announced. Read More

Food & Drink

Panera Bread Coming to Hallmark’s Old Space on PAS

304 Park Avenue South.

A Panera Bread bakery and cafe is under construction at SL Green Realty‘s 304 Park Avenue South at the corner of 23rd Street, in a space partly previously occupied by a Hallmark store.

“I think that area is light on food offerings,” said Jeffrey Roseman of Newmark Grubb Knight Frank Retail, who represented SL Green in the deal. “Now with Eataly there, it’s become such an incredibly busy hub. The Madison Square market is a changed market from what it was a few years ago. It’s on people’s radar screen now.” Read More

Food & Drink

Smashburger Expands Franchise Agreements in Manhattan, Queens

Classic Smash. (Smashburger)

Smashburger has expanded its agreements with franchisees in both Manhattan and Queens, the company announced yesterday. The agreements call for a total of 14 new restaurant locations in New York City.

The Denver-based fast-casual burger chain has expanded its agreement with Smash Partners to open 10 new restaurants in Manhattan. As reported by Commercial Observer, Smash Partners signed a 5,432-square-foot lease for the first Smashburger location in Manhattan earlier this year. The restaurant, which is located at 10 West 33rd Street, opened last month. Read More

Food & Drink

Denny’s ‘Tentatively’ Set to Open in FiDi Before Summer’s End

A rendering of the Denny's at 150 Nassau Street.

New York City’s first Denny’s is “tentatively” opening by the end of the summer, a spokesman for the Grand Slam breakfast chain told Commercial Observer, and is currently building out its space at 150 Nassau Street. The State Liquor Authority approved its liquor license two days ago, an agency spokesman said.

Previous reports indicated that Denny’s would be opening this month, but restaurant spokesman Seth Grugle said Denny’s never announced an opening date. Read More

Food & Drink

FiDi Getting Gastropub With 70 Beers [Updated]

23 Park Place

The owners of Rattle N Hum, Beer Authority and The Irish American are opening one of the largest craft beer bars in Lower Manhattan, Commercial Observer has learned.

Rattle N Hum and Beer Authority owners Eamon Donnelly and Joseph Donagher have teamed up with Brian McLaughlin, owner of The Irish American, to open Barleycorn craft beer and grill at 23 Park Place. On the ground floor of Barleycorn, slated to open in September, there will be a 4,000-square-foot gastro-style pub with 70 beer lines, a full-service kitchen, an in-house pizza oven and a raw bar, Mr. Donnelly said. Read More

Food & Drink

Chef Prodigy, Food Market Chain Owner Hook Up for Hudson Food Hall [Updated]

Gregg Grossman. (Credit: Culinaria Group)

Teen chef Greg Grossman is teaming up with the founder of the eatery chain Bread & Butter to create Hudson Food Hall, Commercial Observer has learned.

“I wanted to do a different concept taking some of the Bread & Butter infrastructure, wearing different colors and schemes and create a true New York food experience,” said Terence Park, the founder, president and owner of Bread & Butter. Read More

Food & Drink

Mighty Quinn’s Takes West Village Space


Fast casual barbecue restaurant Mighty Quinn’s will be expanding to the West Village after signing a long-term, 2,760-square-foot lease at 75 Greenwich Avenue.

The space, formerly occupied by Bone Lick BBQ, will be designed in the image of Mighty Quinn’s East Village flagship at 103 Second Avenue. Read More

Food & Drink

Forcella on Park Avenue South Slated to Close [Updated]

Forcella at 377 Park Avenue South

Forcella pizzeria and Italian restaurant is closing on Park Avenue South, Commercial Observer has learned.

The restaurant, which has been open at 377 Park Avenue South between 26th and 27th streets for roughly two years, will pack it in once a new tenant takes the space, according to the broker marketing the site, Eastern Consolidated‘s James Famularo. Park Avenue Bistro was in the space prior to Forcella. Read More

Food & Drink

David Waltuck Eatery Coming to Old Veritas Space [Updated]

43 East 20th Street

The former home of Veritas Restaurant in the Flatiron area is set to become a French-influenced restaurant called élan, showcasing former Chanterelle chef and owner David Waltuck.

Mr. Waltuck and his business partner, George Stinson, a former general manager at Chanterelle, closed on a 10-year deal for 2,000 square at the 50-seat restaurant space at 43 East 20th Street between Broadway and Park Avenue South. The new restaurant is expected to open in May. Read More