BLT Prime will return. The longtime, but recently closed, upscale New York City steakhouse shuttered in Gramercy in December after 13 years, but it didn’t take parent company ESquared Hospitality long to find a new home.
The restaurant has found a new home at 1032 Lexington Ave., between 73rd and 74th streets. The space housed the Lexington Club, another steakhouse that also closed in December.
Ironically, from 2012 to 2016, the bi-level space on the Upper East Side was occupied by the Arlington Club, owned by Tao Group and chef Laurent Tourondel, the LT of BLT (originally Bistro Laurent Tourondel). Tourondel was the former partner of ESquared principal Jimmy Haber, but the two had a dramatic parting in 2010. A contentious lawsuit resulted in Tourondel having legal rights to the name. Haber now pays a licensing fee for its use. It was a messy split; Tourondel still has his own restaurants called “LT” that have nothing to do with ESquared.
Sources close to the Arlington owners say the lack of lunchtime or late-night business on the Upper East Side was a large factor in the uber-successful restaurant group abandoning the concept. After Tao left, landlord Avi Dishi took over the space himself to open the Lexington Club, a similarly styled spot that lasted just over two years.
A representative for ESquared confirms BLT Prime will open there in the spring. Before shuttering, the steakhouse served dishes from other BLT restaurants, plus some of its own food, and was fairly well-received. High rents led to the closure.