Celeb chef to open 14K sf eatery next year
By: TRD Staff
From left: Jean-Georges Vongerichten and L&L Holding Company chairman David Levinson in 425 Park Avenue (Getty Images, L&L Holding Company, 425ParkAve.com)
One of the most talked-about men in Manhattan real estate these days isn’t a developer or star broker — it’s a celebrity chef.
Jean-Georges Vongerichten is making another major move, agreeing to open a 14,000-square-foot restaurant at L&L Holding Company’s new trophy officer tower at 425 Park Avenue, the New York Post reported. The restaurant is expected to open next year.
The restaurant will have a main dining level on the mezzanine with a 1,000-square-foot show kitchen, a cocktail lounge and a massive Larry Poons painting for decor. Norman Foster, who designed the office property, will be designing the restaurant as well.
Vongerichten will also run the tenants-only food and beverage service at the building.
The star chef was not the first choice to run a restaurant in the building. That distinction belonged to Eleven Madison Park chef Daniel Humm. But Humm got the boot from L&L’s David Levinson when he insisted on an all-vegan restaurant.
Vongerichten has made headlines in recent weeks, from opening and closing restaurants to expanding his business at large.
Vongerichten’s Mercer Kitchen in Soho is closing at the end of the year, ending a 25-year run at 99 Prince Street. The location may be replaced with a restaurant by Scott Sartiano, a partner in the Mercer Hotel and the nightlife figure behind Zero Bond.
The celebrity chef this month partially opened the Tin Building, a three-level food hall spanning 53,000 square feet inside the landmarked 96 South Street in the Seaport. The site was the former home of the Fulton Fish Market.
The Howard Hughes Corporation recently purchased a 25 percent stake in Jean-Georges Restaurants, a 40-eatery portfolio. Hughes paid $45 million for the minority stake and another $10 million for the option to buy an additional 20 percent of the company down the road. Hughes is eyeing global expansion for JGR.
Meanwhile, L&L landed a nearly $1 billion financing package in December, led by Blackstone Real Estate Debt Strategies, to complete its 47-story office tower. The 670,000-square-foot property is being anchored by Ken Griffin’s Citadel, which has committed to 330,000 square feet across 16 floors.