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Rebrandings: Model Owner Reopens Merkato 55 as Le 55

Meatpacking District: Here's something absolutely vital that we missed in our opening report on Monday: a new chapter in the life of the always-curious almost-shitshow Merkato 55, and just in time for Shitshow Week 2009!

The one-time African restaurant, turned quasi nightclub turned obscene brunch party spot that was rumored to become a Megu or a Hiro reopened last week as Le 55, under the ownership of the host of “Brazil’s Next Top Model,” Fernanda Motta. Perfect! And the chef this time around? Philip Guardione, former head chef of the Four Seasons in Milan, who is changing the menu from pan-African to pan-Mediterranean (or is it Italian?). This duo is sure to get this restaurant back on track. More coverage, mostly of how beautiful Motta is, here, here, and here. And don't worry, those crazy brunch parties aren't going anywhere.
· Back at Meerkato 55 Manor, Sad Raccoons Were Getting Bottle Service [~E~]
· All Merkato 55 Coverage [~E~]