Leases  ·  Retail

Greek Eatery Avra Estiatorio Opening New Location at 1271 Avenue of the Americas


Tao Group’s Greek eatery Avra Estiatorio plans to open a new 16,500-square-foot Midtown outpost at 1271 Avenue of the Americas, a large lease for a restaurant when others around the city struggle to pay rent and otherwise survive during the coronavirus pandemic.

Avra signed a long-term deal to open its outpost on the ground floor of the Rockefeller Group’s 1271 Avenue of the Americas, also known as the Time & Life Building, between West 50th and West 51st Streets, according to the landlord.

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A spokesman for the Rockefeller Group would not provide the terms of the deal, but Real Estate Board of New York data shows the neighborhood has some of the priciest retail rents in Manhattan.

Avra will take over a storefront formerly occupied by Fidelity Investments, which closed late last year, and plans to open in the fall of 2021, the spokesman said.

The eatery has been in talks for the space since February and still signed on even as the pandemic forced Midtown’s office workers to stay home and led hundreds of restaurants to close, according to The New York Post, which first reported news of the deal.

“Avra was the leading candidate for the space before the pandemic struck,” CBRE (CBRE)’s Eric Gelber, who represented the landlord in the deal, said in a statement. “Avra’s completion of the lease and its commitment to the building in such unprecedented times demonstrate its belief in the resiliency of New York and in the uniqueness of the space in 1271 Avenue of the Americas.” 

The restaurant opened its first outpost in Midtown at 141 East 48th Street in 2000, and later opened locations on the Upper East Side at 14 East 60th Street and another in Beverly Hills, Calif.

Avra’s lease announcement comes a day after Rockefeller Group renewed Ted’s Montana Grill’s 6,106-square-foot location in the 48-story 1271 Avenue of the Americas.

Ed Guiltinan, the head of leasing for Rockefeller, said Avra’s deal caps off the $600 million upgrade to the building it embarked on after Time Inc. — which leased the majority of the tower — left in2015.

“Signing this lease with Avra is a spectacular way to conclude the repositioning of 1271 Avenue of the Americas,” Guiltinan said in a statement. “Avra was being pursued by many of our competitors for other locations in Manhattan, and we are thrilled that Avra recognized the benefits of 1271 Avenue of the Americas and elected to lease space in the building.”

CBRE’s Jordan Kaplan joined Gelber and Rockefeller’s Guiltinan and Jennifer Stein in representing the landlord. Gary Trock and Zach Parisi, also of CBRE, handled it for Avra.