This post has been read 2412 times!
March 5, 2011
With so many restaurants in Battery Park being shut down, such as The Gate House, Johnney’s Fish Grill, Fox Hounds, Applebee’s, Steamers Landing, Pizza Bola, Pac Rim, etc, one might conclude that it is impossible to run a profitable restaurant down here. Not the case. All it takes is quality ingredients and an owner who slightly cares about managing.
Case in point: Blockheads Burritos in the WFC by Vesey Street is flourishing. Blockheads offers freshly-made basic Tex-Mex food served out of a small, low overhead, store.
We were curious about the revenue Blockheads pulls in, so we asked. They make $25,000 to $35,000 a week (and improving) and sold 269 meals on Friday, March 4th. Conservatively, this translates into approximately $1.3 Million per year. Given that they have only 4 to 6 employees at any one time, and the low cost of ingredients, Blockheads has to be considerably profitable.
With the imminent launch of several Danny Meyer restaurants in the Embassy Suites building, hopefully Battery Park will finally have some competently-managed establishments from which to choose. It is indeed possible to run a profitable, quality, restaurant in our neighborhood.
i’ve only been to the Blockheads on the UES but it’s freaking delicious.
The shuttering of the Gatehouse would seem to indicate otherwise. Here was a bar/restaurant that had affordable food that was fair-to-decent in quality, had a tremendous local following, and was run by a competent and well-liked staff. And still it was not a profitable venture simply because the rent was (is) too damn high. And while newly established Izzy & Nats would appear to bolster your argument, paying $22 bucks per person for breakfast is more than a little ridiculous (the food is not that great).
The obvious problem with restaurants in BPC South is that they suffer from lack of foot traffic. Couple that with a cash heavy BPC Authority raising the cost of ground leases for buildings in the neighborhood, which in turn raises the rents and amount of taxes paid, businesses and restaurants are either forced to pass on these extra costs to consumers, clients and customers, etc. or go out of business altogether.
The only good restaurant in Battery Park City South, IMHO, is Liberty View and they are tucked away on the north side of North Cove, alllll the way at the very end of South End Avenue. Liberty View is a real restaurant that offers superior and authentic cuisine. However, the owners have consistently raised their prices almost every year, in order to cover their expenses. Conversley, I would hardly call Blockheads a restaurant. It’s one step above a fast food joint and benefits from a huge lunch rush of Nomura Securities, Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs workers and thousands of tourists who visit the World Financial Center every month.
So we’ll see what Danny Meyer and Goldman Sachs brings to the table over there between Vesey and Murray streets. I expect the Shake Shack and Blue Smoke to be muy delicioso. But also very expensive as well.