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February 24, 2014- By Steven E. Greer, MD
BatteryPark.TV was pleased to be invited to have a marathon two-and-a-half-hour lunch with The Chairman of the Restaurant Week Committee, Tracy Nieporent, and brother of Drew Nieporent of the Myriad Restaurant Group. We met at their flagship Tribeca Grill.
We will have a full story about the modern history of Tribeca, from the Nieporent perspective, in the coming weeks. In the meantime, did you know that their first restaurant was Montrachet in 1985, and that David Bouley was the chef?
In 1990, their Myriad Restaurant group moved over to Greenwich Street and opened The Tribeca Grill, in partnership with actor Robert de Niro. Mr. de Niro grew up in that part of Tribeca and was a fan of Montrachet.
In the floors above the Tribeca Grill are offices occupied by various film industry companies, including the Weinstein Brothers. There is also a film screening room for the Tribeca Film Center.
In 1994, Nieporent-de Niro team opened Nobu around the block. They have expanded to several other Nobu’s throughout the city.
Tracy Nieporent handles the media relations aspect of the business and has been the Chairman of the Restaurant Week Committee since 1992. He took over after Danny Meyer.
Tracy explained that they were one of the very first fine dining establishments Downtown. Back in the 90’s, he explained, “The neighborhood was still pretty much off the beaten path, with much less development and few restaurants. The local population was also significantly smaller.”
After the tragedy of September 11, 2001, their businesses were almost destroyed. Tracy explained, “We made it our mission to help feed the rescue workers at Ground Zero. We prepared food and brought it directly to the site, and also facilitated the efforts of many of our colleagues due to our proximity to the event. This was a very personal and life-changing experience for all of us.”. It took several years before business rebounded close to pre-9/11 status.