Deb’s Retail Dish & Deals: A New Year for Retail

Happy New Year! Clearly, the lessons of 2020 are being felt now, as the pop-up concept expands to one of the world’s most famous locations and a focus on the home continues. And despite the uncertainty (as I write in late November) about indoor dining, new eateries are finding ways to serve guests.

All About Apparel

Rockefeller Center has joined the pop-up revolution, launching RC Capsule, a program that offers independent brands the ability to lease turnkey, pre-wired spaces for six-month terms and work with the landlord to create unique retail experiences. Fashion and lifestyle brands Steven Alan and Jill Lindsey are the first tenants in the program, opening at 30 Rockefeller Plaza in time for the holidays. Steven Alan offers men’s and women’s clothing and accessories, home goods, jewelry and wellness products. Brooklyn-based Jill Lindsey emphasizes local craft, trend-forward fashion and home goods, as well as earth-friendly skincare.

After a couple of months’ delay due to the pandemic, Ugg opened its nearly 13,000-square-foot New York City flagship at 45th Street and Fifth Avenue in November. In addition to its footwear, the store is a showcase for its ready-to-wear apparel (which debuted in September) and home products. The brand’s previous flagship had been on Madison Avenue. Arc’teryx will replace Mirror at 139 Fifth Avenue in the Flatiron district, its second New York unit, reports Commercial Observer.

Home Sweet Home

Lineadecor, the Italian-influenced, Turkish kitchen furniture brand, has reopened its main U.S. showroom at 900 Broadway in the Flatiron district. In the largest retail lease (by both size and total rent) executed in Manhattan in the past several years, The Home Depot will relocate its Upper East Side flagship to 410 East 61st Street, taking more than 120,000 square feet over four floors. Relocating from 731 Lexington Avenue, the home improvement giant will replace Bed Bath & Beyond when its current lease expires. Construction will begin late this year. Also moving — from 38 Walker Street to 304 Canal Street — is international furniture designer Stellar Works. Upscale home goods boutique Coming Soon has moved down the street to 53 Canal Street.

Wining & Dining

Celebrity Chef Patrick Simpson will open a restaurant at The Simpson in Fort Greene, directly across from Barclays Center. Cajun seafood restaurant Hook & Reel has signed a 15-year lease for 5,656 square feet at Concourse Plaza in the Bronx. Le Pain Quotidien will open in at least 10 former Maison Kayser locations in New York City early this year. Parent Aurify Brands emerged as the lead bidder for substantially all of Maison Kayser’s locations as part of the latter’s Chapter 11 process.

Vegan eatery Beyond Sushi has leased 199 Eighth Avenue for its sixth location in Manhattan. Award-winning Chef JJ “Joseph” Johnson and partner Will Sears, both of Ingrained Hospitality Concepts, will expand their fast casual rice bowl shop Fieldtrip with locations at Rockefeller Center and in Jacx&Co, the curated dining concept space of the new Long Island City, New York-based office complex The Jacx.

Eli and Oren Hatali, the siblings behind 2 Bros Pizza, are expanding their Upside Pizza concept, opening a second location at 20 East 40th Street. Vietnamese restaurant Falansai, which closed in September, returned to its location at Harrison Place and Porter Avenue in Bushwick, Brooklyn in November 2020 under new ownership and with a new menu. Lots of new pizza downtown: Zazzy’s Pizza has come to 173 Orchard Street, while Scarr’s has opened a larger space at 35 Orchard.

In November, Chipotle Mexican Grill introduced a digital-only restaurant, called the Chipotle Digital Kitchen, in Highland Falls, New York. Offering pick-up and delivery only, it does not feature a dining room or front service line, and guests must order in advance via, the Chipotle app or third-party delivery partners. The new prototype will allow Chipotle to enter more urban areas that wouldn’t support a full-size restaurant.

A microbrewery (with a sense of humor, to boot) has come to Chinatown; after a six-year wait, That Witch Ales You has opened at 116 Madison Avenue. From East to West: Jay and Nerissa Espinal, who formerly owned Don Pedro’s on the Upper East Side, opened Tasca, a Spanish-Caribbean restaurant at 505 Columbus Avenue in November.

Clearly Convenient

Convenience retailer 7-Eleven continues to expand in New York City, signing leases for three new locations in Manhattan totaling more than 8,000 square feet. All are slated to open in the first quarter. A 3,471-square-feet branch will be located at 675 Eighth Avenue. A 2,800-square-foot store will open at 800 Sixth Avenue. The third location, at 110 Church Street, will have 2,500 square feet.

Debra Hazel

Debra Hazel Communications

Arverne, NY

(201) 618-5247