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Thread: New York City Restaurants

  1. #166
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002


    It's not just the ivy. That faux stone is awful.

    IvyGate: Did This Ugly Restaurant Just Ruin Greenwich Village?

    November 5, 2010, by Joey Arak

    Two new Greenwich Village restaurants have taken the curious step of adorning their facades with fake ivy, and in both cases the neighbors aren't pleased, this being a historic district and all. Regarding Rabbit in the Moon at 47 West 8th Street, a restaurant that may or may not be a total shitshow, the Landmarks Preservation Commission has determined that the ivy must come down or be replaced with the real thing. But that's not enough to appease the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation. Cat fight!

    In addition to the ivy, Rabbit in the Moon made other alterations, such as the balcony area and faux-stone facade that makes the place look like some sort of shire house. This work was carried out without LPC approval, and last month the owners went in front of the commission to seek retroactive approval for the illicit renovations. The commissioners said no to the ivy and asked the owners to work with the LPC staff to come up with a proposal to modify the balcony area and change the facade material. The ivy will probably stick around until a new plan is in place. Commence outrage!

    Andrew Berman, executive director of the GVSHP, is upset by what he feels is the LPC going easy on the owners. In a letter fired off to the LPC, he writes, "The Commision runs the risk of encouraging and rewarding blatant violations of the law, and approving and introducing into one of the city's largest and oldest historic districts a grotesque and entirely inappropriate alteration." Will Rabbit in the Moon set a dangerous precedent of building owners renovating first and asking questions later? The LPC doesn't think so. They tell us that the owners have received a violation, and if they don't address the changes LPC wants made, they could be fined $5,000 per day.

  2. #167
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    NYC - Downtown


    As this looks now from the street it's pure kitsch. The 'evidence' points to an owner who totally flouted both the law and regulatory instructions that were intended to keep things in line.

    Given the current state of 8th Street, with random storefronts and signage all about, this one only stands out as another bit of disconnected stuff to catch your eye. Not saying that this stretch should be turned into a row of totally conformist faux historical storefronts, but some consistency of style & materials should be the aim. 8th Street could be an attractive strip of lively retail & eateries (as opposed to the downtrodden area it's turned into over the past 15 years as so many of the shoe & clothing stores have moved to bigger spaces to the east on Broadway and up Sixth Avenue). The trick is have the LPC regulate in a way that does not overburden owners so that good upgrades are less likely.

  3. #168
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002


    Trademark Battle Over Iconic Diner as New Owners Near Opening

    A judge reportedly declined to dismiss a trademark lawsuit over the famed “Empire Diner” on Tenth Avenue.

    By Olivia Scheck

    Empire Diner was shuttered last spring, after 34 years serving Chelsea residents and visitors.
    (Flickr / Professor Bop)

    MANHATTAN — A legal battle is cooking over naming rights for Chelsea’s shuttered landmark eatery, Empire Diner, the New York Daily News reported.

    Owners of the building, which was featured in the opening montage of Woody Allen’s “Manhattan” in addition to several other films, leased the space to The Gotham City Restaurant Group last spring.

    The silver replica of the Empire State Building,
    which once sat atop Chelsea's Empire Diner,
    has gone missing, according to the New York Daily News.
    (Flickr/Kevin H.)

    But the diner’s former operators, Executive Chef Mitchell Woo and General Manager Renate Gonzalez, reportedly claim that the name of the iconic New York restaurant belongs to them. Woo and Gonzalez filed a trademark suit in Manhattan Federal Court last April, and on Friday a judge declined to dismiss the case, according to the News.

    Charles Levinson, owner of the building, located on Tenth Avenue between West 22nd and 23rd Streets, has also filed a countersuit, seeking merchandising and franchise rights for the famed diner, which was frequented by Barbara Streisand and Madonna, the paper said.

    Despite the pending legal battle, Levinson and representatives of the Gotham City Restaurant Group, who own Union Square hotspot Coffee Shop, say the new “Empire Diner” will open in the coming weeks, according to the News.

    But even if the diner does open with legendary Empire Diner name, it may have to do so without the iconic Empire State Building model that once sat on the diner’s roof. The silver statue is nowhere to be found, the News reported.

  4. #169


    January 26, 2011, 5:24 pm

    Trump Says He and Union Have a Deal on Tavern on the Green


    Associated Press
    Tavern on the Green in better days.

    Donald J. Trump and the head of the powerful union that represented the 400 workers at Tavern on the Green say they have come to an agreement that could revive the shuttered landmark restaurant that is now home to a food-truck court and a visitor center.

    Mr. Trump, never reticent about his ambitions, said that if New York City granted him the license to run Tavern he would spend $20 million of his own money to rebuild it so it would be “the highest-grossing restaurant on the planet.’’ Neither he nor the union’s leader, Peter Ward, president of the Hotel and Motel Trades Council, would reveal specifics of the agreement. But Mr. Trump said “the contract allows me to offer the highest level of service and quality.”

    Reaching a deal with Mr. Ward has been a crucial stumbling block to reopening the once-glittering restaurant after its previous operator, the LeRoy family, declared bankruptcy and closed it on New Year’s Day of last year. The city owns the restaurant in Central Park and had given the operating license to Dean J. Poll, operator of the Boathouse in the park. But Mr. Poll lost the right to run the restaurant after he failed to reach agreement with the union, a necessary condition for his license.

    For the plans to go forward for a future “Trump on the Green,” the developer would have to get the New York City Parks Department to grant him the operating license. And yesterday, the city did not leap into Mr. Trump’s arms.

    The parks department deferred to City Hall and Jason Post, a spokesman for the mayor, said, “The city is not ready to announce any future plans for Tavern on the Green and has not had any discussions with possible restaurant operators.”

    Mr. Ward, who has signed hotel contracts with Mr. Trump for decades, said the five-year labor agreement “is a fair deal and gives him everything he needs to create a great new restaurant.”

    “Everyone wants this to happen,’’ Mr. Trump said, “and nobody else but me can do it, because I’m the only one who has the money.”

    Tavern’s abiding absence, along with the loss of Windows on the World and the Rainbow Room, has left a gap in the city’s major-events scene, diminishing the city’s celebratory feeling for both residents and the tourists who visit. Last May, the mayor announced that the city would solicit new Tavern proposals “from anyone that wants to reopen it as a restaurant.” But the city never formally sought new operators, given the continuing recession. The city will have to decide whether it could designate Mr. Trump as the operator, or whether the license would have to be put out to bid. Mr. Trump said that if that happened he would submit a bid.

    He said the agreement with Mr. Ward was not a publicity stunt and that if the city quickly approved his plan, he could reopen Tavern in 2012, “and the Trump cachet would enable it to instantly become a world-class destination.”

    Mr. Trump likened his plans for Tavern’s rapid comeback to his resuscitation of the Wollman Skating Rink — which he still operates — and his renovation of the decrepit Central Park carousel, which he began operating last year.

    A key issue for the city would be Mr. Trump’s plan to reconstruct the Crystal Room, the 350-seat ornament with its heritage chandeliers that was torn down last August. It had brought the restaurant more than $6 million a year in revenues, according to its former operator, and was built in 1976 by Warner LeRoy when he took charge of Tavern. Last year, the city said that the removal of the Crystal Room returned the Tavern building to its original design as a sheepfold when it was built in the 1870s.

    The restoration of the original building had been lauded last fall by Douglas Blonsky, president of the Central Park Conservancy. The nonprofit organization, which helps manage the park, contributed $200,000, in the form of plantings, pruning and the removal of shrubbery at the eastern margin of the building. Mr. Blonsky declined to comment on Mr. Trump’s grand vision.

    Contract negotiations between Mr. Ward and Mr. Trump, which Mr. Trump said he initiated, have gone on for months. “I’ve known Peter a long time and had Peter’s union in many of my hotels,” Mr. Trump said.

    Mr. Ward has worked for the union for 32 years, and has said he got to know Mr. Trump in the late 1970s when the developer and the Pritzker family renovated the former Commodore Hotel on East 42nd Street into the Grand Hyatt New York Hotel. Later Mr. Trump bought the Plaza Hotel, where Mr. Trump “was good to deal with,” Mr. Ward said last year.

    It was also at the Plaza where Mr. Ward and Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg forged a relationship in 2005, when the mayor successfully intervened during a clamorous confrontation between Mr. Ward’s union and the then-new owners of the Plaza Hotel, who sought the landmark’s sweeping conversion to condominiums and stores.

    The mayor was able to broker a compromise that preserved nearly half the hotel rooms and kept the jobs of more than a third of the Plaza’s 900 hotel workers. And although Mr. Trump no longer owns the Plaza, Mr. Ward’s union represents workers in the Trump International Hotel on Central Park West and his Trump SoHo New York on Spring Street.

    The city’s original request for Tavern bidders had specified that the new operator come to agreement with the union, and Mayor Bloomberg cited the failure of Mr. Poll to do so as the reason for suspending the fruitless negotiations last May.

    Mr. Ward said that his agreement with Mr. Trump allowed for the rehiring of former Tavern workers, some of whom have been unemployed since it closed. “It’s not only the workers — reopening Tavern would mean more money for the city. It would be a win-win situation.”

    Mr. Trump said of his deal with the union that “the economic consequences of the union contract won’t be a consideration since the restaurant will be such a huge success.”


  5. #170
    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003


    Bump and a request.

    Ed, i was looking for a site that would give some recommendations for cheap eats in the city.

    The problem is, they all use a universal filter that does not differentiate between breakfast, lunch and dinner. So while a $8 burger might be cheap, a $8 turkey sandwich is not (and they are both considered "cheap" by sites like MenuPages).

    If there are any threads that go into good cheap places for lunch or takeout, it would be welcomed!!!! (if there is already one here, I could not find it. "cheap" is in too many threads even when combined with "lunch" and "food"!!)


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