Ai Fiori restaurateur expands Italian empire to UES

July 24, 2012 10:00AM

The restaurant group behind popular Italian establishments Marea, Ai Fiori and Osteria Morini has signed a lease for a new eatery on Madison Avenue at East 86th Street, the New York Post reported. Altamarea Group, headed by chef Michael White, will move into the former Centolire space at 1167 Madison Avenue after signing a 12.5-year lease at a blended rate of about $150 per square-foot.

The space, owned by Duell Management System, is 5,000 square feet across the basement, first and second floors, with the latter comprising most of the lease. Altamarea was represented by Leslie Siben and Ben Hahr of JDF Realty. Centolire reportedly closed after a dozen years because its monthly costs associated with rent, utilities and taxes reached an unsustainable $41,000.

Altamarea would not reveal its specific plans for the new space. It added a fourth Manhattan restaurant last month in Nicoletta, a pizzeria on Second Avenue in the East Village. [Post]