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Blockbuster Restaurateur Stephen Starr Plots Glam New European Spot in Flatiron

It’ll be housed in a new photography museum from Swedish company Fotografiska

Stephen Starr JBFA

Famed restaurateur Stephen Starr is expanding his New York City empire yet again, now with a European-inspired restaurant headed to a new photography museum at the Flatiron District this fall.

The yet-to-be-named 115-seat restaurant will be housed within Fotografiska, a six-story photo museum launching in September. It’ll be modeled after the luxurious all-day “grand cafes” of Europe and lean on Viennese, Hungarian, and French cuisines, with dishes like beef stroganoff and borscht expected, as the WSJ first reported.

Starr has tapped chef Robert Aikens as chef; the duo have previously worked together at Starr’s well-liked British pub the Dandelion in Philadelphia. Aikens also spent time at the Peacock and the Shakespeare in Murray Hill’s William Hotel, earning one star from the Times in 2014.

The cafe will be located at 281 Park Ave. South, near East 22nd Street, within the new 45,000-square-foot facility backed by Fotografiska, a for-profit contemporary photo center based in Stockholm.

The James Beard-award winning restaurateur behind Le Coucou and Upland has partnered with the Swedish exhibition company for the restaurant. As such, Starr will also run smaller dining and drinking venues throughout the space, plus the catering services.

Starr will also be present in another new NYC restaurant come May: He’s been charged with running day-to-day operations for Keith McNally’s iconic, highly atmospheric French bistro Pastis, which is making an imminent comeback in the Meatpacking District. And once Hudson Yards’s Equinox-branded hotel opens this summer, the bar and restaurant there will also be run by Starr.

The restaurateur’s newest venture in the Flatiron marks another expansion in his New York empire. His highly respected Philadelphia-based company Starr Restaurants is behind places like Clocktower, Buddakan, La Mercerie, and Morimoto. In 2017, after being nominated for a James Beard for nearly a decade, he finally won the outstanding restaurateur award.

Stay tuned for more.