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Eleven Madison Park Will Reopen After All, Citing Favorable Rent Agreement

Plus, Instagram pastry chef Joy Cho will be popping-up at Reception Bar on the Lower East Side — and more intel

A wide-angle photograph of an ornate dining room, with high ceilings, white walls, and circular tables visible below
The dining room at Eleven Madison Park
Gary He/Eater

Eleven Madison Park will reopen after all

Eleven Madison Park, the three-Michelin-star restaurant from restaurateur Daniel Humm, has secured enough funding to make it through the pandemic, whether indoor dining returns to the city this year or next. “I’ve worked through everything and Eleven Madison Park will reopen,” Humm said in an interview with Astrolabe, a new newsletter from photojournalist Gary He. In the interview, Humm says the building’s landlord “stepped up in a big way,” while the bank that he receives loans from “allowed us to not pay until this is over.” Humm doesn’t have a reopening date on the calendar just yet, but the restaurateur appears to be holding out until indoor dining returns to New York City. “In a good scenario, we’ll open, I don’t know, middle of November,” he said. “And I think the worst case scenario is that we open in March.”

The last word on Eleven Madison Park was that the restaurant was at-risk of permanently closing due to the COVID-19 shutdown. The upscale tasting menu spot closed its doors for service in mid-March — laying off roughly 250 employees in the process — and Humm said that reopening would have cost “millions of dollars” in staffing, sourcing, and operating costs, according to an interview with Bloomberg. In the interim, the Michelin-starred restaurant has pivoted to tackling food insecurity through non-profit Rethink Food. The organization, which recently expanded nationally, uses leftover food from restaurants and corporate kitchens to make free meals and is currently producing close to 4,000 meals a day out of Eleven Madison Park. When the restaurant reopens, whether in November or next March, Humm tells He that it will continue to produce free meals in some capacity.

While Eleven Madison Park was able to defer its loan payments and negotiate a favorable rent agreement, the same can’t be said for hundreds of other restaurants in New York City, which continue to close in droves, many because of monthly rent payments. Earlier this month, a survey from the NYC Hospitality Alliance found that 83 percent of the 471 restaurants it surveyed were not able to pay full rent in July, while 37 percent weren’t able to pay rent at all.

In other news

— Joy Cho, a former pastry chef at Gramercy Tavern, will be serving sweet and savory pastries from Reception Bar on the Lower East Side starting tomorrow. The pop-up, an extension of the baker’s boxes she sells through Instagram, is open Wednesday through Friday from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.

— Some of the city’s recently unemployed restaurant workers are now looking for work in the Hamptons’ booming indoor dining scene.

— Speaking of, Senator Chuck Schumer was spotted eating at the Hamptons’ 75 Main over the weekend, which recently lost its liquor license due to COVID-19 violations.

— Authorities raided a Borough Park bar over the weekend, which reportedly had close to 300 people inside.

— The news you’re not ready to hear: