Leases  ·  Retail

New Italian Eatery From Simon Oren and Robert Guarino Headed to Upper West Side

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Restaurateurs Simon Oren and Robert Guarino are cooking up plans for a new, 5,375-square-foot Italian eatery on the Upper West Side.

The pair plan to open Sempre Oggi at 164 to 166 West 75th Street in the summer and recently inked a 10-year deal for 4,105 square feet on the ground floor and 1,270 square feet in the basement of the property, according to Guarino and landlord broker James Famularo of Meridian Retail Leasing.

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Asking rent was $146 per square foot, Famularo said.

Sempre Oggi — Italian for “always today” — will take over the space near the corner of West 75th Street and Amsterdam Avenue from Italian restaurant ’Cesca, which closed during the pandemic in 2020 after 17 years in operation. Oren and Guarino’s new spot plans to serve similar cuisine as ’Cesca, but with some West Coast flair.

“It’s going to be an ingredient-driven, seasonal, vegetable-forward Italian menu with a California influence,” Guarino said. “I used to go to [’Cesca] as a guest over the years and I always loved it. … It’s a great Upper West Side space.”

This won’t be the first restaurant co-owned by Oren and Guarino. The pair are behind the Hell’s Kitchen brasserie Marseille, Upper West Side French spot Nice Matin and the Five Napkin Burger chain. And, aside from Sempre Oggi, Oren is planning a new 9,601-square-foot eatery at the base of The Quin hotel at 101 West 57th Street.

Oren and Guarino “have restaurants on the Upper West Side, they know the clientele, and when a landlord has a great space like this, they always want to get an experienced operator,” said Famularo, who brokered the deal for landlord Benchmark Real Estate Group. “The landlord knew that they are great operators.”

Stuart Morden, formerly of Newmark but who recently started his own shop, represented Guarino and Oren in the deal. Morden did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

Celia Young can be reached at cyoung@commercialobserver.com.