What’s likely the country’s most luxe outpost of Denny’s apparently couldn’t cut it in New York. Manhattan’s first location of the breakfast diner chain — which was glammed up with leather banquettes and a $300 version of the Grand Slam — has closed after less than three years in FiDi, according to Tribeca Citizen.
The phone number for the restaurant is disconnected; Eater has reached out to corporate. Update: Denny’s corporate office has confirmed that the FiDi location is closed. According to a statement from the franchisee, the Manhattan Denny’s “has not been financially sustainable.”
In April 2015, the restaurant opened in a historic building at 150 Nassau St., between Beekman and Spruce streets. But it wasn’t a typical location of Denny’s, a national restaurant best known for making a decent pit stop on a road trip or a fine place to visit after a night of heavy drinking.
This location included a makeover of the diner’s popular Grand Slam breakfast, renamed the “Grand Cru Slam” and repriced at $300. It consisted of two standard Grand Slam breakfasts (eggs, pancakes, sausage, and bacon) and a bottle of vintage 2003 Dom Perignon Premier Cru champagne. Diners could also got a high-five from the bartender with the meal. One bartender told Eater that it got ordered about once a week.
The deluxe version of the restaurant also had a New York-specific cocktail program concocted by Soho House alum Mike Capoferri and weekday happy hour deals to pull in FiDi’s post-work crowd. For $10, people could enjoy a pre-batched riff on a Manhattan, the “Lower Manhattan” — made with Old Overholt rye, sweet vermouth, and coffee liqueur — poured straight from a jug above the bar.
Design, too, differed from other locations. With a wooden sign on the outside and exposed brick and tin ceilings on the interior, Denny’s tried to look as much like a standard, industrial-inspired New York restaurant as possible.
Not everyone was thrilled about Denny’s expanding to NYC, though. Before opening, Denny’s settled a $10 million lawsuit filed by the residents of the building, who were worried that the diner would bring in rowdy teens and criminals. After the lawsuit, Denny’s trudged forward, securing a liquor license.
The owner of the outpost at one point wanted to sprinkle fancy Denny’s across NYC, but now, the world’s most extra Denny’s is no more. People craving more norm-y versions of the restaurant can still visit in Jackson Heights, Staten Island, or East New York.