Steakhouse aims to enliven Greeley Square

The landmarked Radisson Hotel Martinique at 49 West 32nd Street is undergoing an architectural redesign to include a new steak restaurant and lounge called Artemis, which could anchor a renaissance of Midtown Manhattan’s Greeley Square.

Steven Kratchman Architect, P.C. will transform the 19-story beaux arts hotel into the Artemis restaurant with a 3,000-square-foot street-level restaurant and bar and a 3,000-square-foot mezzanine dining area with private dining and bar. The downstairs will be developed into a 6,000-square-foot jazz cellar and lounge with a dining room and private VIP spaces.

Restaurateur Stavros Aktipis also owns Kellari Taverna at 19 West 44th Street in Midtown Manhattan and the new Kellari’s Parea Bistro at 36 East 20th Street near Gramercy Park.

The new architectural design “will offer our customers a range of choices from bright, scenic street views to private dining rooms, with drinking and dining comfort along with culinary drama in a setting that has a Greek and Mediterranean flair,” Aktipis said.

Kratchman’s designs for architectural details and finishes, described as “from the earth” by Aktipis, include exposed brick walls, reclaimed oak-plank floors, mahogany and earth-toned leather banquettes and wine bottle glass wall accents. The hotel’s renovation is expected to be completed by the fall 2009.

Built in 1897, the Radisson Hotel Martinique features historic French Renaissance architecture, the original mosaic-tile lobby floor, and the authentic, majestic marble winding staircase leading to all 19 floors. The hotel was the site of the formation of the Professional Golfers’ Association of America in 1916.

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The renovations of the three floors of the hotel will accommodate 450 seats for diners and jazz patrons, along with 63 bar seats.

The upscale redesign of the hotel could serve as the catalyst for a renaissance of Greeley Square, which is formed by West 32nd Street and West 33rd Street and Broadway and Sixth Avenue, and lies just south of Herald Square. The square was named after Horace Greeley, the longtime publisher of the old New York Tribune. Greeley Square, a triangular park, is adjacent to the Manhattan Mall, which has never quite thrived, along with Koreatown to the south at West 32nd Street.

The area has long been envisioned as an enclave for upscale restaurants, especially with its access to mass transit, including the PATH train, New Jersey Transit and New York City subways. But so far, those visions have not come to fruition, Kratchman said.

“In general, the Business Improvement District feels this is a highly desirable area for higher-end restaurants and business places,” he said, “but they haven’t gotten them.  This restaurant, Artemis, and Stavros, are their stars.”

The 34th Street Business Improvement District has hired a commercial real estate broker who specializes in restaurants to try to attract other eateries to the neighborhood, Kratchman said.