Hospitality king Danny Meyer has decided to turn his planned FiDi events space into a sky-high, 6,000-square-feet public restaurant. The Post reports that he’s partnered with Fosun Property Holdings for the $30 million project at 28 Liberty St., at William Street. [Update appended.]
The name of the restaurant and the menu has yet to be determined, but sounds like it will be super swanky. It’s on the 60th floor, about 880 feet high, and it will have 360-degree views of the New York skyline, according to the Post. Meyer has contracted out 38,000-square-feet total in the building, and the public-facing restaurant and bar will take up a portion of it. The rest of the space will still be used as private event space, with room for up to three events and 800 people. Once it opens next year, the Post says it will be the highest ballroom in the city.
Previously, Union Square Hospitality Group reps said that no public facing restaurant was in the works for the space. News first came out about Meyer partnering with Fosun Property Holdings back in early 2016, but original word was that it was only going to act as a private events space.
The restaurateur — known for a range of restaurants from the legendary Union Square Cafe to crowd-pleaser barbecue restaurant Blue Smoke — will be adding to the growing roster of hot new restaurants from big name restaurateurs in the neighborhood. Daniel Humm and Will Guidara of Eleven Madison Park and The Nomad are planning a huge casual restaurant at 3 World Trade Center tower next year, and David Chang and Jean-Georges Vongerichten will be both be debuting big projects in the Seaport District in the next year or so as well.
In the last year, Keith McNally’s Augustine, Tom Colicchio’s Fowler and Wells, Jose Garces’ Amada, Wolfgang Puck’s Cut, and Eataly all made their debuts.
Union Square Hospitality Group did not immediately have additional details. Stay tuned for more.
Meyer spoke to Eater by phone on Wednesday about what he anticipates the new restaurant to be. For one, although the views are “extraordinary,” he wants it to be an approachable restaurant that people would go to regularly. Most restaurants at the top of towers feel like they need “to get fancy,” Meyer says, meaning luxe food and a special-occasion vibe.
In that vein, the price points and atmosphere will not be at high-end, fine dining level. “I want to make a restaurant that I would want to go even if it did not have a great view, that I would want to go to frequently,” he says. The stunning views should be “icing on the cake,” he adds.
Meyer also notes that Union Square Hospitality Group will not be spending the $30 million quoted in the Post. Fosun Property Holdings commissioned the restaurant group, so Meyer and his team are not spending any money on the buildout. And most of the space will be dedicated to private events run by the group’s catering arm, Union Square Events.
Although Meyer wants the restaurant and bar to be a draw for people despite the view, admittedly, he has been drawn to the space for those views — and Union Square Events had been seeking spaces for exclusive events, particularly spots like the 60th floor at 28 Liberty St.
Historically, the public has not had access to the top floor of the tower and Meyer says he’s excited about showing such views to a wider audience. “It’s going got be giving a real gift to New York City,” he says.