Into the gaping maw …Photo: James Leynse/Corbis
Is it really possible that Marc Murphy’s new Landmarc restaurant in the Time Warner Center will have to support a rent of $72,000 per month? (That’s a figure we were given by a well-place member of the food media, although he says he also heard, through less dependable sources, figures as low as $65,000 and as high as $80,000.) “It’s a special space,” Realtor Alex Picken told us, referring to the Center. “$82 a foot isn’t even the highest [rent] in town.” Okay. But can another modest Landmarc really pull down the kind of income that Time Warner wealth magnets Per Se and Masa see?
Landmarc commands no major buzz — it’s mostly known for its good food, affordable wine, low-key atmosphere, and $15 dessert samplers. Moreover, Murphy lacks the superstar name recognition that might draw people onto the third floor of a mall day in and day out. If Jean-Georges Vongerichten couldn’t make a go of a steakhouse there, how will Marc Murphy get by? The 350 seats they’ll have won’t be a cinch to fill, and we doubt the media will allow the guy much time to grow his business. Chicago megachef Charlie Trotter refused to get caught in the Time Warner trap. We can only hope that Murphy has some tricks up his sleeve.