Tribeca Is Getting an “American Eataly”

First came Eataly (including the World Trade Center branch opening this summer), and then the “French Eataly,” a.k.a. Le District, currently debuting in stages at Brookfield Place. Was an “American Eataly” just a question of time? From the New York Post:

In a blockbuster deal, iconic hospitality brand Howard Johnson is creating an “American Eataly” in a Canal Street post office—and it’s planning to build a 14-story hotel on top. “HoJo’s brand reinvigoration has been a huge success,” said CEO George Stinnett. “And now, with a flagship Manhattan hotel and AMERICA EATS!, we’re bringing the brand to the next level. […] Who doesn’t love classic American food? And who’s better positioned to celebrate it?”

That was a rhetorical question, one assumes. There’s a lot more in the Post article—including the two “preliminary” sketches you see here. Do I even need to point out that the building falls outside of the Tribeca East Historic District?

Beyond the design, which is sure to raise eyebrows, the hotel is probably not of much interest to folks around here. AMERICA EATS!, on the other hand, aims to draw locals as well as tourists. What we can expect:

••• AMERICA EATS!—it’s unclear whether you’re meant to yell the name—will be more of a food hall than grocery store, and the emphasis is on roadside classics: “We’re approaching heritage American food in a contemporary way,” said Stinnett. “These won’t just be the best corn dogs you’ve ever had, they’ll also be made with organic corn and meat.” Stinnett doesn’t say whether HoJo will create the food itself or partner with existing brands—but from the interior sketch, it sure looks like Hot Dog on a Stick is involved.
••• Other foods said to be getting dedicated counters: burgers, fried chicken, barbecue, ice cream, pie, and “semi-frozen beverages” (shakes and slushies?)—not to mention HoJo’s famous fried clam strips, at a counter called The Happy Clam. (Click that illustration to check out the mascot! I need it on a T-shirt!)
••• The food counters will be in the center of the building, with seating along the walls—so at least those fantastic windows won’t be blocked.
••• The top floor of the hotel, meanwhile, won’t be a penthouse suite. Instead, it’ll be an event space “for birthday parties, bar mitzvahs, even weddings.” And—wait for it—they’re looking into making it rotate.

Construction is slated to start a year from now, probably around the first of April, which is also known throughout our great country as April Fool’s Day.

Illustration by Montana Forbes at

Previous posts in this series:
••• TCQ&A: Amanda Culpepper
••• In the News: Could W. Broadway Become a Pedestrian Mall?



  1. Well done, Eric. This has a ring of truthiness.

  2. I haven’t had HoJo fried clam strips in 30 years, but there were so good.

  3. I want a Happy Clam T-shirt!

  4. When is the Canal Street post office closjng and will a new post office open in the area?

    It’ll be a pretty wide gap between the Church and Varick Street post offices when Canal Street closes.

  5. Fantastic! This is great.

  6. Please tell me this is an April Fool’s story. Please.

  7. Brilliantly done!

  8. This is brilliant. The renderings especially! Though, sadly, a HoJo might actually give better service than the PO currently does.

  9. Bravo, Eric! Got me two years in a row even though I was fully aware what day it is today! Yesterday’s story about the BPC PO satellite probably helped.

  10. Peppermint Stick!

  11. Didn’t think you could top last year’s April Fool’s post but this is superb.

  12. Ya got me Erik – good one!

    Then again, I could see the government selling a post office building to a developer – heck Stuyvesant Post Office closed down because of development I think (it relocated elsewhere.)

  13. Ack! Sadly, this is so plausible it didn’t give me a moment’s pause. Phew!

  14. HaHa! But seriously after all that renovation that PO has been doing recently and still no ramp for the disabled? Isn’t there a law?

  15. Thanks for the heart attack!

  16. Eric, This is so great. My wife and I were just talking about what a great spot this could become. We hope they are preserving the murals on the interior. They are so spectacular.

  17. Brilliant! Painful. Brilliant!

  18. It was so ridiculous and ugly and awful, I thought it had to be true!

  19. You really did scare the crap out of me.

  20. I almost fainted when I read about the rotating top floor!!!
    What’s so scary is that some developer may love the idea!

  21. There is the East River Savings Bank building at the southwest corner of Broadway and Canal Street . . .

  22. I really hope Eataly opens down here. I love the Madison Square location.

  23. Btw cool name for a bank (East River Savings Bank.)