By now, word of lease woes at Del Posto, Batali's NoMeat Italian, have made the rounds. Like us, you may have been wondering how Mario could possibly have let things get quite so ugly in his brand new, and very expensive, digs. Specifically, what in God's name did he do that would have caused landlord Somerset Partners to serve up eviction papers, when most building owners would give their first born to bag a tenant like Batali (whose mere presence raises the rent in the rest of the building)?
Eater has overheard some insider whispers that, in an only-in-New-York way, flesh it all out.
Seems Batali and Co. signed a sweetheart lease on the Del Posto space for $110k/year a few years ago, and in the meantime, Somerset took over the building. The going rate for the space is now said to be $775k/year. Somerset was cool with keeping things as is (really, they had no choice) viz. Del Posto, only requesting that the managers keep a table open for investors. And Somerset mentioned that some of their new investors were "big reds" fans and, would it be possible for Batali to throw them a dinner, bring out some nice bottles, as a courtesy to the new management company? Pretty please?
Yes, friends, that was all Somerset wanted to assuage their roughly $665k/year loss on the Del Posto space. A nice pasta dinner.
Well, we hear that whomever took these requests at Del Posto told Somerset, "No, we won't be doing that"—that moment marking the split-second before Sometset started looking for eviction-worthy problems at Del Posto. Suddenly, the sidewalks outside apparently need restructuring, security cameras were noticed gone, and equipment was where it shouldn't have been. Then, the eviction papers were drawn up.
And this, as you'll soon see, is only half the story.
· Molto Mario Del Evicted? [~E~]