When Powerhouse Eateries Have to Move and Reinvent, Magic Follows

For a restaurant like Union Square Cafe, a location move doesn't have to just be the end of an era. It can be the start of a whole new adventure.
Source: Perla Cafe

From the 2Q 2017 issue of Bloomberg Reserve, a Bloomberg Brief's publication.

From rising rents to redevelopment plans, there are lots of reasons successful restaurants in cities like London and New York move address. When an owner re-opens their establishment in a new location, they may seek to hold on to the essence and character that made their original spot so popular. Some, like Union Square Café in New York, physically moved but worked to hang on to touchstones, like color, menu and mood. Others, like Richard Corrigan in London, went for a whole new look and demeanor, while serving a similar style of food. Here are the latest batch of restaurants that have moved. If you liked them before, then you’ll like their latest incarnations.

London

The interior of Pitt Cue.

Photographer: Paul Winch-Furness

Pitt Cue

This BBQ hotspot made the most radical move, from a tiny corner spot in deep Soho, to a lavish, open warehouse-style space in the City. A continued dedication to their cuisine (and more space to cook it in) has given them a new lease on life, with a new audience. 1 Devonshire Square, EC2M 4YP

Chutney Mary

A beloved Indian restaurant from the depths of residential westLondon moved to the heart of St. James and morphed into a luxury restaurant, with prices to match. The business crowd loves it for lunch. The dinner crowd seems less convinced. 73 St. James Street, SW1A 1PH

The private dining room at Corrigan's Mayfair.
Source: Corrigan's Mayfair

Richard Corrigan at Lindsay House/ Corrigan’s Mayfair

The original was a cozy, elegant affair in a Soho townhouse with food that felt as if you were sitting on a rocky beach on Ireland’s west coast, eating a hamper of delicacies. Corrigan’s Mayfair, now in the Grosvenor Hotel, doesn’t resemble a beach or a townhouse. It’s more grown-up but the food remains consistent. And you can actually buy hampers if you want to go on a picnic in neighboring Hyde Park. 28 Upper Grosvenor Street, W1K 7EH

Pharmacy/Pharmacy 2

The original Notting Hill restaurant opened in 1998, co-owned by artist Damien Hirst and PR executive Matthew Freud, but closed in 2003, after the owners sold in 2000. Its new iteration, Pharmacy 2, is located at Hirst’s gallery in Lambeth, with a renewed focus on food and less on fashion. Maybe the second time is the charm. 9 Newport Street, SE11 6AJ

New York

Union Square Café

USC is the restaurant created by Danny Meyer (who went on to open Gramercy Tavern with Tom Colicchio and an empire called Shake Shack). The restaurant moved to the corner of East 19th Street and Park Avenue after it was pushed out of its original space by high rents. The new USC manages to retain something of the old spirit but adds a party and private room space and two bar areas. 101 East 19th Street between Park Ave/Irving Place

Sistina

The owners took a classic old-world, low-ceilinged Italian in Yorkville and transported it to a limestone mansion on the Upper East Side’s Gold Coast. Sistina has retained its original vibe, down to the waiters, voluminous wine list and a dedication to their loyal customers, who treat it like a club. 24 East 81st Street between Madison/5th Ave

Source: Perla Cafe

Perla

Gabe Stulman’s formula of different cuisines in stylish, clubby rooms has always worked. The new Perla has preserved the ambience of the old, just a few blocks away. Already many people don’t even remember that it moved. 234 West Fourth Street between 10th/Charles Street

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