In the New York restaurant business there are Giants and Titans. Only a few get to reside on Mt Olympus like Keith McNally and Tom Colicchio. Both have opened new restaurants this past week and they are located at the Beekman, a super swank new hotel and residence in downtown Manhattan.
Tom Colicchio operates the hotel’s main restaurant Fowler and Wells, the newest of his eight restaurant empire, and it is set off the hotel’s spectactular atrium. Colicchio’s theme for Fowler and Wells is an homage to the clubby world of 20th century moneyed New York.
McNally’s new restaurant, Augustine, is street side on Beekman place and looks a lot like his famed Balthazar. Only it is prettier framed with French decorative retro ceramic tiles. This is McNally’s 14th restaurant opening.
We find it odd that there are two enormously expensive to open “food-celeb” restaurants on this property. Surely, both these highly successful entrepreneurs have thought about the cannibalization factor in these high risk ventures at the Beekman. Our thought is : McNally will eat Colicchio for lunch and probably dinner too. Why? Because Augustine is very visible from the outside and its casual elegance makes this place very inviting.
Fowler and Wells on the other hand is accessible only through the hotel’s main entrance. It’s a little intimidating if you are not a hotel guest as you have to make your way to the Atrium. Finding patrons from outside the hotel is going to be difficult for Tom.