Keith McNally is a Restaurant GENIUS
Keith McNally created the Meatpacking District? Yes Boys and Girls, I’ve been saying this for years. Never heard anyone else make this statement that I’ve been saying for the past 10, 11 years or so (remember where you hear this FIRST, Me! Daniel B Z), Keith McNally created the Meatpacking District! Well pretty much to what it is today, the booming, hip neighborhood of Trendy Restaurants, Trendy Designer Boutiques, Clubs, Hip and Cool Boutique Hotels, an Apple Store, The Chelsea Market, this that and every other thing, Keith did it. Well with a little help from Eric Goode and the Maritime Hotel which sprung up around the same time. The Maritme Hotel a Hip and Cool Boutique Hotel created by nightclub impressario Eric Goode of Area, on of New York’s coolest and longest lived Night Clubs (I had many a great time there), MK, and The Bowery Bar, Eric is now partner in The Bowery Hotel, The Maritime, and other projects. Yes Eric helped create “The Meatpacking” but it was mostly Keith McNally once he opened the doors of the venerable restaurant Brasserie / Bistro “Pastis” Even before, as Keith always gets 12 to 18 months advance publicity, once he obtains a space, has a concept and before “Bolt # 1” goes into the place, New York Magazine, The New York Times, Daily News, the Post, Time Out, and the entire restaurant, food, and social press are all over the story, “Keith McNally’s Latest Restaurant” (place).
I’ve said it befor, and I’ll say it again, “Keith McNally makes neighborhoods. He made two neighborhoods that were previously nondescript, boom, spring trendy restaurants and shops, increase real estate values, and spark “The Cool Set” to move in. Yes he has, first with Tribeca and his opening and huge success of the Odeon way make in the early 80’s, and now in the 21st Century, Mr. McNally Created and Made The Meatpacking District of New York Hot, Cool, trendy, the “Place to Be and Be Seen In.” The neighborhood is booming. Since McNally opened Pastis way back in 1999, the neighborhood has seen tremendous growth, spawning the Hugely Sucessful “Hignline,” The Ganesvoort Hotel, Soho House, The Standard Hotel, an Apple Store, other hot and hip restaurants, Nightclubs, and a slew of expensive designer boutiques like; Stella McCartney, Alexander McQueen and others, “Everyone wants to be in the Meatpacking District and it’s largely due to Keith McNally and his fine French Bistro/Brasserie “Pastis.”
Yes, there were others before Keith, but the neighborhood did not explode until McNally’s arrival. Florent was the first great pioneer, way back in 1985, a good 13 years or so before McNally opened Pastis. Florent Morellet was a wonderful 24 Hour Bistro (Diner) “Florent” on Ganesvoort. Yes Florent was way ahead of Keith in terms of when they opened their respective restaurants in the Meatpacking District of New York which was just that, New York’s Meatpacking District filled with a hundred or so commercial Meat Purveyors. Floent operated for a dozen years or so before any restaurant of great substance moved into the area. Florent was the King of The Meatpacking District and had no competition in terms of any other hip restaurants in the area. Relatively anyway. But the district never boomed under Florent’s rule of the district, that happened after Keith Mcnally moved in with the opening of Pastis in 1999. Eventually, after more than 20 wonderful years in operation of “Florent” Florent Morelett lost his lease to another “Greedy Landlord” wanting insanely high over-inflated rates for their properties. The Original King of The Meatpacking District Florent Morelett was booted out. And now Keith. What? Yes, Keith Mcnally and his Bistro Pastis that created the boom of the Meatpacking Distric, The Highline, The Standard and Soho House Hotels, an Apple Store, Alexander McQueen, and Stella McCartney, this man may lose his lease, and New York and the Red-Hot Meatpacking District may lose the man and the place (Pastis) that made the neighborhood. “We may lose Pastis.”
Daniel Bellino Zwicke