Flurry of high-end restaurant closings sparks retail real estate buzz

March 15, 2011 09:57AM

Large, famed New York City restaurants have seemingly been shuttering at a fast clip in recent months, and although the closings are largely incidental, they’re creating a flurry of activity on the real estate scene. Among the restaurants that have vacated prime Manhattan restaurant locations: Tabla, Matsugen, Japonais, Montenapo, and the much-talked-about Convivo and Alto, both by Chris Cannon. According to the Post’s Steve Cuozzo, Angelo & Maxie’s at 233 Park Avenue South and its sister restaurant, Maxie’s Grill, are also both set to close within the next two months, freeing up some 10,000 square feet of space. According to Steven Kamali, an independent broker specializing in restaurant-lease sales, “fine dining is toppling” and giving way to more casual spaces. Faith Hope Consolo, the Prudential Douglas Elliman retail queen, said landlords are more into Fig & Olive-type chains these days. “Every time I get a space that’s fit for a restaurant, the landlord calls and says, ‘I don’t want a typical restaurant — I want Pret a Manger,” she said. “Or, ‘Bring me another Olive Garden.’” [Post]