Brooklyn Chop House’s Times Square deal made possible by pandemic

The largest restaurant deal within the metropolis for a majority black-owned business is within the coronary heart of Times Square, and it was made possible by an enormous COVID rental low cost. 

Brooklyn Chop House (suppose upscale Chinese meets conventional American steakhouse) has inked a deal to maneuver right into a 25,000-square-foot area on West forty seventh Street. It’s slated to open in September, coinciding with the long-awaited reopening of Broadway theaters. 

BCH may have 650 seats, together with 150 on a rooftop that shall be below a brand new $250,000 retractable cowl Customers can order every part from a four-pound, salt-and-pepper ginger lobster, seven-pound Peking geese or three-ounce dry aged Porterhouse steaks. 

“Deals like this are usually only available to Fortune 500 companies because the landlords ask for millions of dollars up front for rent,” stated Robert “Don Pooh” Cummins, a music exec turned restaurateur as he led this reporter on a tour of the constructing earlier this month. 

The former tenant, publicly traded Buffalo Wild Wings, vacated the area in the beginning of the pandemic, abandoning a $15 million build-out. 

“They handed in the keys early in the pandemic and just walked away, leaving everything behind — even hundreds of bottles in the liquor cabinets and all the big screen TVs,” stated Stratis Morfogen, BCH’s operations director

The former Buffalo Wild Wings in Times Square where the new Brooklyn Chop House will be located.
The former Buffalo Wild Wings in Times Square the place the brand new Brooklyn Chop House shall be positioned.
Matthew McDermott

BWW additionally deserted an $850,000 Jumbotron that can be utilized by prospects to blast marriage proposals or birthday needs, and by liquor corporations or different advertisers, Morfogen stated. 

At the time BCH started negotiating the deal final yr, Times Square was a ghost city, he famous. “I’d drive in and be the only person in Times Square. The garage where I parked my car was down from 1,800 cars a day to 35.” 

Negotiating a deal in the course of the lockdown was a danger, however that’s when the most effective offers have been made, stated James Famularo, president of retail leasing at Meridian Capital Group, who repped each BCH and the owner, Friedland Properties. 

Cummins initially rejected a 10-year lease supply and ended up with a 20-year lease plus a base lease that was “50 percent less” than what Buffalo Wild Wings paid, he stated. The lease will improve based mostly on income, however is capped at a sure level, which Cummins declined to specify. 

The interior of the future Brooklyn Chop House in Times Square.
The inside of the longer term Brooklyn Chop House in Times Square.
Matthew McDermott

“All we have to do now are cosmetic changes — like turning the roof into a Hamptons-in-the-city kind of beach lounge,” stated Cummins, who received his begin working with music icons equivalent to Sean “Diddy” Combs and Mary J. Blige, and is credited with discovering Foxy Brown. 

“This is a milestone and inspiration to other black entrepreneurs who want to get into the restaurant business and other businesses,” Cummins stated. 

BCH first opened a 6,000-square-foot area within the Financial District (not Brooklyn) in 2018. The Times Square web site will change into its flagship. 

Morfogen, Thomas and Cummins inside of the new Brooklyn Chop House location.
Morfogen, Thomas and Cummins inside the brand new Brooklyn Chop House location.
Matthew McDermott

Cummins has been within the restaurant enterprise since 2000. He is without doubt one of the first black IHOP franchise homeowners — with three within the metropolis — and he’s opening the world’s first Flip’d by IHOP, its latest quick-service model, later this summer season at Park Avenue and twenty third. 

In addition, Cummins is an proprietor of one other idea, Brooklyn Dumpling Shop, which was based by Morfogen. It’s opening a 1,000-square-foot flagship within the East Village’s St. Marks Place on Wednesday. 

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