New York restaurant expert tries to break a string of flops in a Midtown hot spot

New York restaurant expert tries to break a string of flops in a Midtown hot spot
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The newest and trendiest corner of the Manhattan restaurant scene is not in NoMad or Tribeca, but in the heart of Midtown.

Leading restaurant operator Simon Oren will take over the long-vacant Wayfarer space at Quin Hotel, a breakthrough for the high-energy intersection of Sixth Avenue and West 57th Street, where Oren’s as-yet-unnamed venue will remain. in the northwest corner.

The location at 101 W. 57th was once the home of Wolf’s Delicatessen, which closed decades ago and was succeeded by one flop after another. Oren’s lease signing further energizes the corner where two other busy big-league restaurants are vying for returning tourists and office workers: Marc Packer’s Rue 57 on the southeast corner and the Stillman family’s Quality Italian just north of the street. intersection.

pray is the managing partner of the Tour de France Group (Nice Matin, L’Express, Café d’Alsace), as well as Dagon, Barbounia, and the Five Napkin Burger Chain. He and his partners also recently launched Monterey at the former Maloney & Porcelli site on East 50th Street.

He said the new venue will be Middle Eastern with a focus on modern Israeli cuisine and the Eastern Mediterranean, which is missing from the Midtown mix.

Oren said the requested rent was $1 million a year, but “we paid less.” The highly visible space is 3,800 square feet at curb level, 2,500 on the second floor, and a further 2,500 below ground. The site was most recently Wayfarer, which closed at the start of the pandemic.

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Oren is the managing partner of the Tour de France Group, which includes Nice Matin, L’Express and Cafe d’Alsace.
Matthew McDermott

The Quin is a brand of Hilton Grand Vacations, which owns the restaurant space. Brad Schwarz of Lee & Associates represented by Oren and Jared Lack and Andrew Goldberg of CBRE acted on behalf of the lessor.

The newly signed lease “was a year and a half in the making,” Oren said. “I don’t want to say they were picky, but they were more concerned with finding the right tenant than rent.”

“A lot of groups were interested, even from out of town,” Oren added. “But they really wanted a local operator with a track record. His due diligence was very long, but no one was in a hurry.”

The new venture will have 120 guests on the ground floor and 30 more on the upper floor, where there will also be private rooms.

The opening probably won’t happen for another nine months.

Oren is also a managing partner at Dagon, Barbounia, and the Five-Napkin Burger chain.
Matthew McDermott

“You take over a place that used to be a restaurant, so you think it’s going to be easy and it’s only going to take four or five months,” Oren said. “It doesn’t work that way. Monterey took me a year to build even though it had been a restaurant before.”

Oren is cautiously optimistic about the future.

“To be in this business, you have to be optimistic and naive,” he laughed.

He acknowledged that all the bad news everyone has heard about the restaurant scene “is correct,” including inflation, customer indecision and labor costs that have increased 25% in the last 12 months. Still, “it’s been a good season for us.”

Unlike other restaurateurs, Oren is not expanding to Miami or anywhere else.

“I love New York, that’s my city,” he said.

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