El Quijote, the charming and perennially popular Spanish restaurant on the ground floor of the Hotel Chelsea, is in the process of being acquired by Chelsea Hotels, the new company that owns the building. Chelsea Hotels was formerly known as King & Grove, but owner Ed Scheetz decided to rebrand both his group and all of its individual properties earlier this year. Back in 2011, real estate scion Joseph Chetrit purchased the historic hotel and partnered with Scheetz with plans for a revamp. Some people feared that the new owners of the building would evict the aging restaurant or force it out, but Scheetz split with Chetrit last year and now his company announces that it is acquiring the restaurant with plans to keep it alive.
A rep for Chelsea Hotels says the new owners will "retain the signature look and feel of El Quijote" while "maintaining its authenticity." The company also claims that they will keep the same staff and the same food. Scheetz and his cronies better make good on their word because the nostalgists of this city would be sad and angry if the new owners ruined this place. In his Who Goes There? post from 2012, Brooks of Sheffield noted: "El Quijote is a calming place. The ceilings are high and the lights are low. The waiters wear black jackets, and the muzak soundtrack never ventures past the hit parade of 1960."
It's unclear if El Quijote's proprietor Manny Ramirez will continue to run the restaurant, or if he simply sold his business to the new company. But a statement about the acquisition notes that the deal was made "with longtime owner Manny Ramirez's blessing." Stay tuned for more details as they become available.
UPDATE: A rep sends word that Manny Ramirez will "still be involved," and the restaurant will be run as part of Ed Scheetz's new hotel.
· All Coverage of El Quijote [~ENY~]