News of faculty

26 Dec 2012

«In the US the restaurants play a significant part in social life»

The restaurant Tribeca Grill first opened its doors 22 years ago in the neighborhood of TriBeCa. Today the co-owners of this establishment are the Hollywood stars and famous restaurateurs, among which are: Robert De Niro, Michael Baryshnikov, Sean Penn, Drew Nieporent, Bill Murray and brothers Weinstein, which makes Tribeca Grill highly attractive place for the urban socialites and other Manhattan residents. The participants of the internship titled «Steak houses, burgers and cocktail bars of America» (New York, Miami) have visited the renowned restaurant and met with one of its partners, the marketing director for the restaurant group Myriad, which includes Nobu, Corton, Centrico and Tribeca Grill - Tracy Nieporent.

Tracy, could you tell us the story of this restaurant.

The space where the restaurant is currently located, had previously been a coffee storage place. As we go further inside, you will see the docking bars for the freight trucks that were unloading the coffee. And those pipes that you see in front of you - are a part of the pneumatic correspondence delivery system, which channeled the envelopes up and down between the different floors of the building.

Earlier, in place of Tribeca Grill was another restaurant which belonged to my family since 1985. Robert De Niro was a frequent guest here, of course now he is one of the co-owners of the business. By the way, all the paintings that you see on the walls were painted by his father. These days our establishment is equally well known for it's gallery as for it's good food and outstanding wine selection.

So your love for the restaurant business is very much shared throughout your family? As we know your brother is a well known restaurateur. What does he do at the Tribeca Grill?

Yes indeed, both me and my brother have shared this passion since the early days of our childhood. Our father was a lawyer and worked with various restaurants. That is how, having been little kids, we have gotten our initial exposure to this industry. By the way, one of the restaurants that our father had brought us to was a Russian restaurant. I think it was called «Two guitars». I remember there were always different attractions, you could often see juggling performances, fire spitters, sword swallowers etc. My favorite dish there was a Kiev style cutlet.

Right now, my brother is the main owner of that restaurant as well as it's manager. However, in our own time, we have started out from the most bottom positions: I was an assistant at the kitchen, and he was a cater cleaning dishes from the tables.

Tell us, over the course of the past 22 years, has the interior been changed much? Or everything here remained pretty much the same way?

From the very get go, when the restaurant just opened its doors, we wanted to maintain the spirit of consistency. That is why the interior during all these years has remained in its original form. The only new elements that were introduced were the of lamps made of isinglass stone by the famous American designer David Rockwell. If you look at them closer, you will notice that they all differ from one another in slight nuances.

The bar, which you see here, was designed and build in the late 20's for the restaurant owned at the time by the famous American boxer Jack Dampsey. Later on it was bought out by the producer and the film maker of «Wizard of Oz» Mervin Leroy. And now finally this bar appears here at Tribeca Grill. The sense of history is very important for us, that is why we are taking great joy in using the good old things around here.

And the last question: how much does it cost to open up a restaurant such as yours?

Frankly, a lot. When me and my brother were opening up our first restaurant back in 1985, we have been saving up for a while until we had $250 thousand together. Nowadays, this amount wouldn't be enough to even build a hot dog stand. That is why if you want to open up a restaurant these days, you certainly need to look for investors. That is, of course, if you are not wealthy as Prokhorov, and can not afford yourself such expenses upfront.

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