Le Jardinier Opens in Midtown

After having worked for over twenty years under the late award winning chef Joël Robuchon, the past eighteen of which were in Japan as culinary director of Tokyo’s three Michelin-star Le Château de Joël Robuchon, Alain Verzeroli has taken the helm of Le Jardinier, which opened this week at Lexington Avenue and 53rd Street. The new restaurant, in a building owned by Aby Rosen, and designed by Joseph Dirand has 62 seats. The menu is heavy on vegetables and is more seasonal and less technical than his mentor’s restaurants. Alain plans to open a second restaurant in New York called Shun with French-Japanese cuisine. Bernstein Redo, P.C. is proud to be part of the Le Jardinier team.

Opening a Restaurant: Legal Issues Bootcamp

On May 17, 2019 the Hospitality Committee of the Bar Association of the City of New York will be sponsoring a continuing legal education class on opening a restaurant. The program will focus on corporate, leasing, liquor license and employment/labor issues. Bernstein Redo, P.C.’s Donald Bernstein will be one of the presenters, speaking on issues relating to restaurant leases. Topics will include use provisions, default and assignment provisions, lease contingencies including liquor license approvals, issues relating to noise, garbage and odors, good guy guaranties, and other important issues. A total of 4 CLE credits will be given for the program which begins at 9:00 am at the offices of the City Bar at 42 West 44th Street.

The Shed at Hudson Yards

In a September 2017 post we noted the ongoing construction of The Shed at Hudson Yards, a multi-arts center designed for performing arts, visual arts, and popular culture. The Shed finally opened last month. The eight level 200,000 square foot base structure is a center for artistic invention bringing together leading artists working in multiple art forms. The most distinctive feature of this eight million pound building is its outer shell that slides over the adjoining outdoor plaza with six feet wide wheels to provide a 120-foot-high, temperature-controlled hall. As the building expands and contracts, it can work in many configurations, allowing multiple events simultaneously including a theater for up to 1,250 guests. Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group will open 120-seat Cedric’s, a bar and café on the ground floor of The Shed this week. It is mainly a spot for cocktails before or after a performance. Bernstein Redo, P.C. is proud to be part of The Shed and the Union Square Hospitality teams.

Aman Hotel New York

Aman is planning a new urban sanctuary in the heart of midtown Manhattan with the planned opening in 2020 of its first New York hotel at 730 Fifth Avenue. The super luxury hotel chain purchased the famed Crown Building on the corner of Fifth Avenue and 57th Street overlooking Central Park a few years ago. The building rises 26 stories and is an architectural gem. The first ten floors of the building will be a hotel with 83 guest rooms and suites. Floors 11 and above will be sold as private residences, including a penthouse. The hotel will feature the Aman club, a Japanese restaurant, jazz club, three-story spa, and a wraparound outdoor terrace on the tenth floor. Aman hotels are worldwide, including locations in Greece, China, Bhutan, Wyoming, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Turkey, among others. New York will be its third hotel in the U.S. It also plans to open in other European cities. Bernstein Redo, P.C. is proud to be part of the Aman New York team.

Maison – the New Women Member’s Club

Founded by Ashley Wu, Maison is the new Upper East Side private members club designed for women located on East 85th Street. Wu, a mother of two young children, found it difficult to work at home, and tired of looking for a place for personal time beyond coffee shops or walking around the reservoir. She created Maison for like-minded women who need a place to work, socialize, connect, relax and recharge. As she says about creating Maison, “I needed a place to regain my balance and reconnect with the part of myself that isn’t a mother, wife, or caregiver.” Finding nothing that satisfied this need in the neighborhood, Maison was born. The interior is designed by the team at Ronen Lev and architect Lubrano Ciavarra. The club is open to everyone, but membership is mostly women from the Upper East Side. Bernstein Redo, P.C. is proud to be part of the Maison team.

Jonathan Waxman’s Barbuto to Move

As reported by Florence Fabricant in the New York Times today, James Beard award winning chef Jonathan Waxman will be closing Barbuto, a West Village restaurant he opened fifteen years ago. Its last day will be May 31 of this year. Waxman was quoted as saying that he viewed Barbuto as the “crowning glory” of his career. His first restaurant was Jams, which he opened on East 79th Street with then partner Melvin Master in 1984, and then a few years later opened Buds on Columbus Avenue in space later taken over by Stephen Hanson as Isabella’s. The good news for Barbuto fans is that the restaurant will be re-opening later this year at 113 Horatio Street. Bernstein Redo, P.C. is proud to be part of the Barbuto team, and Donald Bernstein is particularly proud to have been a part of the Jams team in 1984.

Fotografiska To Partner with Stephen Starr at 281 Park Avenue South

Stockholm-based Fotografiska, co-founded ten years ago by brothers Jan and Per Broman, will be coming to 281 Park Avenue South this Fall. The 45,000 square foot, six-story landmarked building built in 1894 will house a photography and cultural museum with three floors of exhibition space dedicated to rotating presentations of local and international photographers. It is self-described as “an international meeting place where everything revolves around photography.” The second floor of the building will be a restaurant operated by Starr Restaurants. Stephen Starr, a James Beard award winning restauranteur, owns Le Cou Cou, Upland, Clocktower, Morimoto, and La Mercerie in New York, as well as restaurants in Philadelphia, Miami, Washington, D.C., and Paris. The restaurant at 281 Park Avenue South will be designed by Roman and Williams, a 2019 James Beard finalist for Outstanding Restaurant Design. Bernstein Redo, P.C. is proud to be part of the Fotografiska and Starr Restaurants team.

The New Gitano Jungle Room in James Hotel

Having brought the taste of the Yucatan Peninsula to Tulum, and then to New York City with the opening last summer of Gitano on Varick Street, James Gardner’s Gitano Group has now moved into a permanent spot in the James Hotel. The hotel’s former David Burke Kitchen has been re-opened as the Gitano Jungle Room, part two of the group’s tropical oasis in the heart of SoHo. The James Hotel was purchased last year by Thor Equities. Mexican and Mayan inspired dishes are created by chefs Mads Refslund and Yvan Lemoine. On the second floor, above the main dining room, is the Jungle Bar, filled to the brim with bamboo furniture and green palm trees, reminiscent of its sister which opened in Tulum, Mexico in 2013. The large outdoor restaurant on Varick Street will shortly be gearing up to open for its second season. Bernstein Redo, P.C. is proud to be part of the James Hotel and Gitano teams.

Course on Restaurant Law

On March 19, 2019, the New York County Lawyers’ Association will sponsor a two-hour continuing legal education class on issues on restaurant law at its offices at 14 Vesey Street beginning at 6 pm. Bernstein Redo, P.C.’s Donald Bernstein will teach a segment on retail liquor licenses, joined by Nancy Schess, Esq. who will speak on labor and employment issues for restaurants, and Kyle-Beth Hilfer, Esq. who will present on intellectual property issues. The course is sponsored by the Real Property Section of the Association and will be moderated by its chair, Roy Fenichel of MIT National Land Services. Registration is through www.nycla.org.

Court Reverses City Council and Orders it to Issue Sidewalk Café Permit

Last week a court in Manhattan reversed the denial by the New York City Council of a sidewalk café permit for Calle Dao at 461 West 23rd Street in Chelsea. Calle Dao, a Cuban-Chinese restaurant in the London Terrace building, had applied for a permit for a small sidewalk café. The last restaurant in that space, Barchetta, had been issued a sidewalk café permit when it had operated in 2014. However, opposition by some vocal residents of London Terrace, Community Board 4, and City Council Speaker Corey Johnson led to a vote in the Council to deny the permit, even though it had been approved by the Department of Consumer Affairs. In her ruling, Judge Carol R. Edmead said that the Council’s vote was “unsupported by evidence regarding land use and zoning regulations and only based on community opposition.” Citing previous court rulings, the judge ruled that the Council’s decision to deny the permit to Calle Dao “fails the rational basis test and is thus arbitrary and capricious.” The City was ordered to give its consent to the café. Bernstein Redo, P.C. was part of the Calle Dao team.