The owners of P.J. Clarke's have filed a $40 Million lawsuit against their Brookfield Place landlord Brookfield Office Properties. This is the company that also manages the recently opened Hudson Eats in the same complex. The lawsuit alleges that the landlord engaged in "a long and deliberate campaign to drive the restaurant out of the space and replace it with a more upscale establishment." According to a statement from the P.J. Clarke's camp, the restaurateurs think that Brookfield might be pushing them out to make way for Pastis, which would serve as "an anchor for an 'upscale' theme for the redeveloped property." Presumably, they are referring to a new location of Keith McNally's shuttered MePa hot spot.
Brookfield Place is undergoing a $250 million renovation which includes the aforementioned Hudson Eats as well as spaces for six restaurants, of which both Parm and Jose Garces's Amada have already been announced. P.J Clarke's, which opened there in 2006, is the only surviving pre-renovation food service tenant.
According to the filing, the landlord erected "sidewalk sheds and barricades" that blocked the view of the Hudson River and the Statue of Liberty and made access to the restaurant difficult. Additionally the landlord parked food trucks immediately outside of the restaurant. P.J Clarke's claims that business is down 50 percent since the "orchestrated efforts" to drive away business began. The restaurant, which has a 15-year lease, says that it has been approached several times with offers from the landlord to vacate or split the space but has refused.
As for the Pastis rumor, Keith McNally has never mentioned any plans to move the restaurant to another neighborhood. Back in February, the restaurateur told Eater: "Pastis will open on the spot as soon as the building's renovations are complete." Stay tuned for more details on the future of the P.J. Clarke's space as they become available.
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