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[Photo courtesy Curbed]
Montenapo, a casual (yet upscale!) Northern Italian restaurant from the sizable restaurant group behind Bice and numerous other eateries, will open off the lobby of Renzo Piano's New York Times building this summer. This First Word comes not from the community boards but rather via press release from the fine folks at Forest City Ratner, the entirety of which is reproduced after the jump for your reading pleasure. But, first, vital stats: 5,274 square feet of space opening onto 41st Street; lunch and dinner planned; and, yes, "will overlook the unique birch and moss garden" in the center of the building. Courtyard dining? Let's consider that TBD.
Forest City Ratner Signs One of the City’s Best Known Italian Restaurants for The New York Times Building
Montenapo by Bice Will Bring A Taste of Milan To Eighth Avenue
NEW YORK – Thursday, January 17, 2008—Forest City Ratner Companies announced that a new ‘concept’ restaurant has signed a lease for retail space in The New York Times Building at 620 Eighth Avenue near Times Square.
Bice, which is among the busiest, best-known, and highly-regarded Italian restaurants in New York, will lease approximately 5,274 square feet at street level to open a full-service restaurant called Montenapo. The new restaurant, located in space just next to the building’s 41st Street entrance, will feature a casually elegant atmosphere and serve Northern Italian cuisine for lunch and dinner.
With the Montenapo signing, Forest City Ratner has successfully leased four of the five retail units in The New York Times Building. The other retail tenants are Muji, the innovative Japanese purveyor of simple, distinctive housewares, furniture, and clothing; a 60-seat Dean & DeLuca café, its seventh in New York; and Inakaya, a “robatayaki”-style Japanese restaurant known for its grilling. Office space in the 52-story tower is now more than 90 percent leased.
Bruce Ratner, chairman and CEO of Forest City Ratner, said, “I’m very pleased that Bice, a genuine New York City food destination, would choose The New York Times Building to premiere Montenapo, its new marquee restaurant. With the addition of this distinctive restaurant, The Times Building offers a terrific range of dining choices for the thousands of employees who work in the building as well as all New Yorkers and visitors.”
Roberto Ruggeri, founder and CEO of the Bice Restaurant Group said, “To be associated with a Renzo Piano building, in the heart of the Times Square district, is a dream for me. Montenapo will bring the best of Milan into the extraordinary New York Times building.”
Montenapo, which is expected to open in late summer, 2008, will overlook the unique birch and moss garden at the heart of The New York Times Building’s lobby. The restaurant was represented in lease negotiations by Elizabeth Hazan of World of Concepts.
The Bice Restaurant Group, which began in 1926 as a neighborhood trattoria in Milan, now has more than 40 restaurants around the world, stretching from New York, Chicago, Dallas, and Palm Beach, to such exotic locations as Monte Carlo, Singapore and Abu Dhabi.
Designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Renzo Piano, The New York Times Building celebrated its grand opening in November 2007, and is now home to a dozen diverse corporate tenants. The building, which is located between 40th and 41st Streets on Eighth Avenue, is topped by a 300-foot steel rooftop mast bringing its height to 1,046 feet.
The 1.5-million-gross-square-foot New York Times Building is owned jointly, as condominiums, by The New York Times Company and Forest City Ratner Companies. The Times Company owns floors 2 through 27 and Forest City Ratner owns floors 29 through 50 and floor 52, as well as 21,000 square feet of retail space on the ground floor. Floors 28 and 51 are jointly owned by The Times Company and Forest City.