Japanese udon concept Tsurutontan will open its first U.S. location at the former Union Square Cafe space at 21 East 16th Street in Union Square.
Restaurateur Danny Meyer told the New York Times yesterday (Wednesday) that he had leased the City Crab restaurant space at 235 Park Avenue to re-open Union Square Cafe there. He ended his E16th Street lease last year following a dispute of over rising rents. The newspaper reported that City Crab is to close with Meyer offering employment to all of its staff.
RKF announced that it arranged the lease for Tsurutontan. Executive Vice President Beth Rosen and Senior Managing Director Marc Finkel represented the landlord, David Ellis Real Estate, LP in the transaction while Fuminori Yokoyama represented the tenant Dining Innovation, Inc. dba Tsurutontan.
Located between Union Square West and Fifth Avenue, 21 East 16th Street is considered an iconic restaurant destination, thanks in no small part to Meyer’s success there. Tsurutontan will be taking 5,400 s/f in total, with 3,900 s/f on the ground floor, 500 s/f on the mezzanine and 1,000 s/f in the basement. They expect to open in Spring/Summer 2016.
With over 25 years of history, Tsurutontan is considered the leading and most innovative udon restaurant in Japan, where they have a total of 12 restaurants and serve over two million patrons a year.
“We knew we had to deliver a really unique, special tenant for this historic space,” said Rosen. “Tsurutontan fit the bill perfectly, with its established popularity in Japan and its unique menu and restaurant setting. Union Square and New York City are primed for a food concept like Tsurutontan. It’s unlike anything else we’ve seen in the city, and will surely be a welcome addition to not only the immediate area, but to the city’s dining scene on the whole.”
RKF was also marketing a neighboring space on behalf of David Ellis Real Estate, LP at 31 Union Square West, located at the corner of 16th Street and Union Square West, and ultimately helped arrange a lease renewal with Blue Water Grill, who currently occupies the 11,700 s/f space.
“Blue Water Grill’s renewal further reinforces the strength of this block and this neighborhood,” added Finkel. “We’re pleased that the restaurant decided to maintain its current location and are excited to deliver an innovative new tenant for the neighboring space.”