Seen & Heard: Tribeca’s Other Long-Gestating Restaurant

••• I know we’ve talked this to death, but can’t the NYPD at least get the vendors to move their crap out of the curb cuts at the intersection?

••• A note on the door of the former Matsugen space (66 Leonard) confirms that it’ll be a sales office for the Clocktower condo conversion (108 Leonard/346 Broadway).

••• Tetsu isn’t Tribeca’s only long-gestating restaurant. A late addition to this month’s Community Board 1 agendas: “11 Sixth Avenue – Approval of Stipulation Sheet for Liquor License Application.” That’s the newly constructed building next to Tribeca Tavern. We’ve heard nothing about it for a long time. In May of 2016, a sign went up saying “Empire diner coming soon” went up, but then parts of it were blacked out. As for the stipulations, my records on this are hazy, but I believe the license was approved by CB1 in 2013 (and that it might be for 4 a.m. closing). Workers were inside yesterday.

••• The Trump Soho hotel has a new restaurant called Spring & Varick coming. It sounds like it might be operated from within the hotel, because that name is pretty generic and there’s nothing about it online. (That wouldn’t be a surprise, given the trouble Trump has had with outside operators who don’t like his policies.) The hotel’s PR rep didn’t respond to an email.

••• Tribeca Art Night is celebrating its one-year anniversary by rebranding as Tribeca Art+Culture Night, and the next one is Wednesday, September 27: “Our ‘back to school’ edition will feature 25 venues—the biggest number ever of participating spaces in a single edition, including four new spaces! Attendees will enjoy a vibrant set of new and special events: high-end tours led by art specialists—curators, artists and art critics—talks, live arts and workshops, showcasing incredibly talented creatives and passionate individuals such as art collectors, gallerists, curators, poets, photographers, painters, and wellness experts.” You have to RSVP for the special tours and events, but of course you can just wander among the venues, too.

••• Work is happening inside Landmarc as it turns itself into an event space.

••• I hadn’t realized that you can see the top of 91 Leonard (as the big new building going up on Broadway is being called) from Church. Those ought to be some nice views, since most—if not all—of the area to its west is protected.

••• And take a look at 565 Broome, dominating the horizon on Watts. I’ve included a rendering of the Renzo Piano–designed building, too.



  1. The thing is this is now going to be the 3 rd sales office for luxury buildings on leonard street. The preparations take forever are extremely tacky ( take a look at the fake brick and fake plants at 75 leonard and across the street ). Also and this is nitpicking but for me a huge hassle: they put up flags and banners with the address of the new building which confuses people delivering to the real addresses and visitors alike. I’ve had deliveries call me because of the confusion of the addresses. It shows that there is absolutely no regard for the existing “old” buildings and residents who actually live there instead of the potential rich people they are trying to lure in. These spaces are temporary and will eventually be vacant storefronts again. Just another instance of the changes that disregard actual humans who live and I may say work here.

    • The enormous space at 75 Leonard lay fallow for about a dozen years after the last renters left in the mid-nineties. The owner was reportedly asking an unearthly rent (it’s really a beautiful space), but really had nothing to lose by leaving that money “on the table” until someone was willing to pony up. That is the case with many of the buildings on this block, which were owned by fabric concerns until the late 80s. The owners of those concerns had bought the buildings for near nothing when no one wanted to live here, and so whatever money they could make on them was just “gravy”, as they say. But real estate developers are the new pharaohs, financially speaking, and the expense is negligible for them. So, for example, the developers of 56 Leonard held onto that space from 2007, when the building first broke ground, through the Great Recession, until 2010, when development was taken over by another company, which held the space long before and after 56L was occupied. The rent on 75 Leonard was an impossible sum for ordinary retail enterprises, but the developer was willing to pay it every month, year after year, whether using the space or not, just to maintain their name on the lease. That says a lot.

  2. Any ideas what we can do about the vendors on Broadway on Canal? It just seems like it’s getting worse and the NYPD does nothing. It’s so frustrating and so wrong that they get away with loitering and selling fake products.

  3. Multiple 311 calls over several years have never yielded any response. Their distribution center is around the corner on Lispenard St. which is perpetually strewn with their debris and empty food containers.

  4. About the counterfeit crooks: I would say keep calling 311. I do every time I see them blocking the sidewalk. If it makes them shut down for an hour each time, even that is something. Let’s make their “business” so frustrating to operate that they give up.