New York food blogger Nosh filed late last night on the incredibly grim state of the dining scene on Roosevelt Island. We'd known it was bad, but it turns out it's much worse than that:
Nowhere else in New York City is more underserved than Roosevelt Island, and because RIOC operates all of its mixed-use buildings as state-run facilities, potential new businesses must submit to agonizingly lengthy approval processes that entail requests for proposals, open bidding, documentation of customer base and proof of financial and stakeholder gain to the island before they are even allowed to occupy a shop. And worse, if the previous tenant owed fees or back-rent, the arrears become the responsibility of the new business. The upshot is that when a restaurant shuts down on Roosevelt Island, a new one does not spring up to take its place.
...All of this leaves residents with an almost Soviet set of food choices: China 1, a carry-out and delivery business, or the one sit-down restaurant on the island, Trellis...Danny Meyer, Drew Nieporent, hell, Didier Virot: Are you listening?
[A] resident put it this way, “We have nothing here. Nothing. My kids want pizza, and I have to go to Queens or wait 2 hours to get it delivered. That is insane. The next [restaurant] that opens here is going to be a big deal to everyone, and there is no way we will let it close.”
· A Fig Tree, and Not Much Else, Grows on Roosevelt Island [NYC Nosh]