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Crown Shy Chef James Kent Opening New Seafood Restaurant in Midtown South

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Chef James Kent, owner of Michelin-starred restaurants Crown Shy and Saga, plans to open his first restaurant outside of the Financial District in Midtown South. 

Kent’s SAGA Hospitality cooked up a 10-year deal with Boston Properties (BXP) for 7,000 square feet at 360 Park Avenue South. The New York Post first reported the restaurant deal. 

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The unnamed restaurant — which will accommodate 130 people — will serve coffee and pastries during the day and seafood at night, and plans to open in 2024, Kent and Boston Properties told Commercial Observer.

A man standing with his arms crossed
James Kent. Photo: Kelt T

Kent is still busy workshopping the menu, but he wrote in an email that he is currently most excited about “the idea of adapting Grand Central Oyster Bar’s iconic oyster pan roast” for his new eatery.

The chef became famous for Crown Shy, Saga and cocktail bar Overstory — ranked as one of the world’s top 50 bars — all located at 70 Pine Street in the Financial District. 

While those restaurants may be well known, “they’re part of a single ecosystem,” Kent wrote in an email. This new location is an “opportunity for us to spread our wings a bit.”

Kent spent the formative years of his career as a chef working at Eleven Madison Park, first starting as a line cook, then a sous chef and finally chef de cuisine, so he said he’s looking forward to returning to that area near Madison Square Park. 

“This feels like a homecoming,” Kent said. 

For his first venture outside of the Financial District, Kent landed on Boston Properties’ 450,000-square-foot tower that it bought from Empire Asset Management at the end of 2021 for $300 million, as CO previously reported.

Boston Properties is in the process of redeveloping and modernizing the 20-story Park Avenue building, with plans to add a conference center, communal rooftop, lounges, private work areas and a ground-floor bike valet, according to the landlord. 

It’s unclear who brokered the deal.

Leah Breakstone can be reached at lbreakstone@commercialobserver.com.