Guests who reopen the Carnegie Hall on Wednesday night will be thrilled to the victory strains of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony performed by the Philadelphia Orchestra.
But the thrilling sounds at the Trattoria del Arte at 907 Seventh Ave. The menu calls it that.
Like the Carnegie Hall, the Trattoria del Arte has been dark for 20 months since the city’s epidemic shutdown began on March 20, 2020.
This means a less prominent restaurant that is closing down, shrinking list Sardi, Shun Lee Palace and Polo Bar. Sardi only refers to the planned resume as “mid or late”.
The colorful, 400-seat, three-level Jumbo Trattoria is a giant, Midtown firm that opened 33 years ago on the nose entrance of the Milton Glaser design. It drew most of its night trade from Carnegie Hall, counting the trattoria to feed hungry music lovers before and after the shows.
Owner Shelley Fireman, with 3,671 seats in her three exhibition spaces and potential restaurant customers, waited until the concert hall reopened.
“It’s a happy day,” Fireman said. “As soon as people walk in, we all give champagne.”
Prior to the Kovid-19 lockdown, Trattoria was the leading position of the Dell’Arte-Fireman Hospitality Group, which included Bond 45, Red Eye Grill, Fiorello and Brooklyn Diner – with annual revenues of “up to $ 12 million,” Fireman said.
Benjamin Grossman, the company’s CEO / partner, said, “We don’t expect it to equalize. But we know this neighborhood very well. We’re optimistic it will get better.”
Grossman Kovid said that in the past, 500 customers could be served from Carnegie Hall on any given night. “But it’s not normal time,” he said.
Both are credited with Trattoria’s survival in part to a cooperative landowner Feel agency. The two sides recently extended the Trattoria lease for fifteen years.
He doesn’t discuss the terms, but Grossman said, “As we think about things now, you’re crazy to make a deal that doesn’t have a significant portion of rent for a percentage of the business.”
Trattoria had less trouble recruiting staff than many other places. Brando de Oliveira, executive chef who has worked with Fireman for over twenty years, is back with more managers.
Grossman said some employees were offered jobs at Fireman’s other restaurants – “they had a little staff over time” – in anticipation of the reopening of the Trattoria.
But tough times are still ahead but office buildings remain only 28 per cent and fewer tourists.
Broadway resumes help, though Fiorello is growing near the Lincoln Center, where his business is “somewhat absorbed” in other places.
He does not predict how well his restaurants or the city will do in the long run – but, he said, “we will stay alive.”