Heads up, Anthony Bourdain fans: Turns out the author/TV host and his partners actually haven't signed a lease for their highly-anticipated food hall, Bourdain Market, at the SuperPier yet. It’s public knowledge that the project, which would be Bourdain’s first independent restaurant venture, is a huge undertaking requiring heavy paperwork lifts like obtaining visas for international vendors. The team recently pushed back the opening date of the $60 million project by two years. Although Governor Andrew Cuomo previously released a statement that said the developers would be bringing Bourdain Market to the pier, it only noted that the Bourdain team had a letter of intent — not the same thing as a legally binding lease. Bourdain Market head Stephen Werther confirms that the market has not yet signed a lease, but he says a final signing is "imminent." "It is large and complicated, and not a traditional property, and not a traditional lease," he explains.
The lack of a lease shouldn’t be a big deal, considering the heavy-hitters involved — except Eater’s sources are now whispering that the developers are getting more serious about a back-up option. Word is that developers have recently been talking to the Gansevoort Market team about taking over the 155,000-square-feet of space instead. Werther says the developers told him last year that the Gansevoort crew had initially been considered a back up, and he brushed off rumors that conversations with the people behind the Meatpacking District food hall have restarted. "I have no indication that that situation is true," Werther says. Chris Reda, owner of Gansevoort Market, declined to comment on the situation. A spokesman with the Hudson River Park Trust, which oversees SuperPier, says talks are still happening between Bourdain and the developer. The trust and developer RXR Realty declined to comment on Gansevoort.
When asked about the Bourdain Market’s status, a Youngwoo rep tells Eater that they never officially said that Bourdain will be a tenant at all. "We really have kept most of our tenancy under wraps," says spokeswoman Christine Nebiar, noting that the only tenant they’ve announced is Google. She did not respond to questions about Gansevoort.
Any restaurant project takes time and there's a lot of paperwork to get through, so it’s no surprise that a long delayed project like this — which not only involves construction on the market but rehabilitating the pier itself — would take a while to sort out. And a total nix of the Bourdain Market would be a huge shock. Bourdain and Werther have been talking about the concept for years, and even though Youngwoo distanced itself from the market in their public statement to Eater, it's hard to believe the company didn't know the governor would be including the Bourdain Market as a selling point in his approval of the pier. Still, at this point, it's not clear when the Bourdain Market’s lease will be signed. "I think everybody expected it to be done a while ago," Werther says.