Cooking up a new eatery

Published on March 24, 2003

Winter is always tough for the city's restaurant business, but this year seems especially cruel. War activity, the tough economy and weeks of awful weather, however, aren't stopping at least one restaurateur from forging ahead with an ambitious new project.

Yong Choi, owner of three upscale Manhattan takeout shops called Marche Madison, has teamed with noted chef Tadashi Ono, formerly of La Caravelle, for an eatery at 75 Rockefeller Plaza. The bilevel space, which used to house a TGI Friday's, will feature takeout food with an Asian accent, and a separate menu for casual sit-down meals.

The annual rent for the 8,000-square-foot space is $425,000. Mr. Choi is investing $2 million to spruce it up, with an eye toward an October opening. Insignia/ ESG Inc. represented the landlord, and Dobbs Associates Inc. represented Mr. Choi.

The restaurateur says he's not deterred by the recent bad luck of other, fancier eateries in the Rockefeller Center area. "This concept is going to be right for the economy," he says. "People have to eat."


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