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Food & Drink

Food & Drink

The Benjamin Group Will Open a Restaurant at 285 Madison

285 Madison Avenue.

The Benjamin Group has inked a 16-year deal to open a yet-to-be-named restaurant at RFR’s 285 Madison Avenue, Commercial Observer has learned.

The restaurateur, which also owns Benjamin Steakhouse and Sea Fire Grill, signed a lease for 9,020 square feet across the basement, ground floor and mezzanine of the 29-story building between East 40th and East 41st Streets, according to RFR. Read More

Food & Drink

Smorgasburg, Art Walls Comes to Coney Island

coney island

Thor Equities is bringing art walls from street artists of the last 40 years to its 1320 Bowery Street site, straddling the Coney Island Boardwalk, as well as bringing the popular Brooklyn food venue Smorgasburg to the area, the company announced today.

Joseph Sitt, the chief executive officer of Thor, and Jeffrey Deitch, an art adviser who used to run the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, are arranging the 20-plus artists that include Crash, Futura and Lady Pink to paint installments at Coney Art Walls as summertime kicks off. Read More

Food & Drink

Bond 45 Restaurant Staying Put?

Bond 45 at 154 West 45th Street.

Restaurateur Shelly Fireman believes Times Square staple Bond 45 won’t be permanently shuttering when its lease expires next February, but the space may be shrinking.

Mr. Fireman, whose family-owned Fireman Hospitality Group operates Bond 45 at 154 West 45th Street and a number of other restaurants in New York City, said that he and the landlord, Charles Moss of Bow Tie Partners, are ironing out the details. Read More

Food & Drink

City Kitchen By The Numbers

City Kitchen

The war is over. Times Square has officially gone hipster. Or at least foodie.

On March 5, City Kitchen opened at Row NYC, the Midtown West hotel that sits on Eighth Avenue and 44th Street. A short walk from the Chevys and Applebee’s of Times Square, City Kitchen is seriously raising the bar for the area’s dining options. There are truffle cheddar pretzels from Sigmund’s (born in the East Village), and dulce de leche-glazed doughnuts with toasted almonds from Dough (conceived in a modest storefront in Bed-Stuy). For more ravenous diners, there’s Kuro Obi (an off-shoot of the city’s revered Ippudo) for those interested in taking part in the city’s ramen craze—so 2014! And, with spring right around the corner, one can always look forward to a lobster roll from Luke’s; it’s much better than Red Lobster, with which Times Square patrons are undoubtedly familiar. Read More

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

Doughnut Plant to Open HQ in LIC [Updated]

Falchi Building

Doughnut Plant, the confectioner of choice for many throughout the five boroughs, will open its new headquarters and expand its baking facility at the Falchi Building in rapidly gentrifying Long Island City.

First reported by Crain’s New York Business, the company has signed a 10-year lease for 8,495 square feet square feet of space. The mixed-use space will include corporate offices and Doughnut Plant’s largest production facility. A small kiosk selling doughnuts will also be featured at the site. 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

Renaissance Restaurant to Lease Out Its Space

776 Ninth Avenue.

Get ready to say goodbye to Renaissance Restaurant at 776 Ninth Avenue, Commercial Observer has learned. The owners of the restaurant, and the building that houses it, are looking to head to the Caribbean to retire, said Eastern Consolidated broker James Famularo who is representing the landlord.

Renaissance has been open for 30-plus years on Ninth Avenue between 51st and 52nd Streets, Mr. Famularo said, but times have changed. 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